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Healthy Diet, Lifestyle Linked with Less Disability

Neurology; ePub 2017 Dec 6; Fitzgerald, et al

A healthy diet and a composite healthy lifestyle are associated with lesser disability and symptom burden in multiple sclerosis (MS), according to a recent study. In 2015, participants in the North American Research Committee on MS (NARCOMS) Registry completed a dietary screener questionnaire that estimates intake of fruits, vegetables and legumes, whole grains, added sugars, and red/processed meats. Researchers constructed an overall diet quality score for each individual based on these food groups; higher scores denoted a healthier diet. They assessed whether a composite healthy lifestyle measure, a healthier diet, healthy weight (body mass index <25), routine physical activity, and abstinence from smoking was associated with symptom severity. They found:

  • Of the 7,639 (68%) responders, 6,989 reported physician-diagnosed MS and provided dietary information.
  • Participants with diet quality scores in the highest quintile had lower levels of disability and lower depression scores.
  • Individuals reporting a composite healthy lifestyle had lower odds of reporting severe fatigue, depression, pain, or cognitive impairment.

Citation:

Fitzgerald KC, Tyry T, Salter A, et al. Diet quality is associated with disability and symptom severity in multiple sclera. [Published online ahead of print December 6, 2017]. Neurology. doi:10.1212/WNL.0000000000004768.