MS and gut health

Intestinal inflammation markers found in MS patients

A new study has found that people with multiple sclerosis (MS) have higher levels of a protein called lipocalin 2 (Lcn-2) in their stool, which is a marker for inflammation in the intestine, compared with healthy people without MS.

The patients with high Lcn-2 levels also had other differences in their gut microbiome, including less of the bacteria Blautia massiliensis which is known to suppress intestinal inflammation by breaking down fibre that’s been eaten.

One of the study’s co-authors said that low fibre and high fat diets might have contributed to the rise of MS in the US, where this study took place. They said that in parts of the world where diets contain more fibre, MS is far less prevalent.

Further research is needed to explore the link between Lcn-2 and other clinical measures, such as relapse rate and disease progression, they said.

Although this study didn’t look at fibre as a factor for MS gut changes and inflammation, a new study is enrolling MS patients to assess the effects of high-fibre supplementation on immune system and gut microbiome.