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Diet Characteristics Examined in People with MS

Mult Scler Relat Disord; ePub Feb 27; Fitzgerald, et al

Diet composition in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) may vary by demographic and disease characteristics, a recent study found. Researchers conducted a survey of participants in the North American Research Committee on MS (NARCOMS) registry assessing diet composition and the prevalence of 19 different diets. They compared diet composition with estimated intakes from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) survey respondents and across demographics and MS clinical characteristics. Among the 7,639 (68%) responders, 6,990 provided sufficient information on diet to be included in the analysis. Researchers found:

  • Compared to NHANES participants, responders tended to have comparable intakes of fruit, vegetables, and legumes (mean [SD] 2.5 [1.0] servings/day) and whole grains (0.9 [1.3] servings/day) and consumed less added sugar (NARCOMS: 9.7 [6.0] vs NHANES: 18.5[13.5] tsp/day) and more red meat (NARCOMS: 0.50 [0.47] vs NHANES: 0.35 [0.97] servings/day).
  • Of the 3,120 (45%) participants who reported any history of following a specific diet, commonly-followed diets were: low-sugar (n=642), low-carbohydrate (n=508), and low-calorie (n=475).


Fitzgerald KC, Tyry T, Salter A, et al. A survey of dietary characteristics in a large population of people with multiple sclerosis. [Published online ahead of print February 27, 2018]. Mult Scler Relat Disord. doi:10.1016/j.msard.2018.02.019.