Mediterranean diet may offer long-term health results for MS, science says

Managing multiple sclerosis (MS) may involve taking specific medications and undergoing particular treatments, according to the Mayo Clinic. At the same time, those dealing with the disease may also want to ensure that their eating habits are beneficial to their health and do not have unexpected ill effects. That’s why people with MS may want to follow the Mediterranean diet over other options, according to new research.

In a systematic review published in Nutritional Neuroscience, the researchers hoped to find out which diet was most beneficial for people with MS. After initially considering a total of 269 studies that were conducted between 2018 and 2022, they ended up taking a closer look at 17 studies.

The researchers’ review found that energy-restricted diets, intermittent fasting diets, the ketogenic diet and the modified Paleolithic diet could cause nutrient deficiencies if used long-term. However, it was also noted that the Mediterranean diet did not seem to cause any adverse side effects even when used for a long period.


“The findings of this study further confirm the restrictive nature of the many supposedly ‘healthy’ diets that people follow for various reasons.” Kiran Campbell, RDHe says Eat this, not that!

“[However,] The best thing about this study is that it shows another health condition that may benefit from following a Mediterranean-type diet,” adds Campbell.

“Some people may have heard that people with MS should avoid gluten or follow a high-protein, low-carb (keto) diet to help reduce symptoms,” Campbell explains. “While this may help some to reduce symptoms, these diets are not endorsed as a stand-alone diet for multiple sclerosis sufferers. At least not in the same way that a diet consisting of carbohydrates is prescribed for someone who is diabetic. And these diets should not be followed long-term because of the potential nutrient deficiencies that could result.”

When it comes to why the Mediterranean diet might be the best long-term option for people with MS, Campbell says that, among other benefits, it “promotes long-term central nervous system health.”

“[Although the] Most of the current research on this diet focuses primarily on cardiovascular benefits, studies also show benefits for people with diabetes, cognitive diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia, mental disorders, depression, inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, and certain types of cancer,” Campbell continues. .

“While there is no such thing as an ‘MS diet,’ ongoing research continues to work to identify dietary approaches to manage and treat MS,” says Campbell. “In general, the Mediterranean diet is anti-inflammatory and can promote health in people with multiple diseases and conditions.”

“The Mediterranean diet is by no means an answer,” explains Campell. “[But] These findings are promising.” Additionally, Campbell advises that you “should always work together with your healthcare providers and take a multifactorial approach to your MS.”

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