These foods found to be strongly linked to depression in MS

Published: 07 December 2022

A new study has found that people with multiple sclerosis (MS) who eat a diet full of acidic foods, such as meat, cheese and grains, and lacking in alkaline foods such as vegetables and fruit, have worse depression scores.

Food from animal sources and cereal grains are acid-forming and a diet rich in them has been linked to poorer mental health in people with breast cancer, diabetes, as well as the general population. In this study researchers wanted to know if the same was true for people with MS.

Subjects completed food questionnaires to determine their intake over the past 12 months at study entry, after five years and then after ten years.

To assess anxiety and depression, the study used the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS). Fatigue was measured on the Fatigue Severity Scale (FSS).

The research found no link between food intake in the past 12 months and depression, fatigue or anxiety. But after five and ten years, higher intake of acidic foods was significantly linked with higher depression scores.

Similar links were discovered for fatigue and anxiety, but they were much weaker and not as consistent.

The researchers said that these findings indicate “a diet focusing on an increased consumption of alkaline-inducing food and a reduction of acid-inducing foods could be tested in a randomised controlled trial in people with MS with depression.”