Calorie restriction (CR) diets are a safe/feasible way to achieve weight loss in people with multiple sclerosis (MS) and may be associated with improved emotional health, according to a recent study. Researchers conducted a pilot randomized controlled feeding study in 36 people with MS to assess safety and feasibility of different types of CR diets and assess their effects on weight and patient reported outcomes in people with MS. Patients were randomized to receive 1 of 3 diets for 8 weeks: daily CR diet (22% daily reduction in energy needs), intermittent CR diet (75% reduction in energy needs, 2 days/week; 0% reduction, 5 days/week), or a weight-stable diet (0% reduction in energy needs, 7 days/week). Researchers found:
- Of total patients enrolled, 31 (86%) completed the trial; no significant adverse events occurred.
- Participants randomized to CR diets lost a median 3.4 kg.
- Changes in weight did not differ significantly by type of CR diet, although participants randomized to daily CR tended to have greater weight loss.
- Randomization to either CR diet was associated with significant improvements in emotional well-being/depression scores relative to control.
Fitzgerald KC, Vizthum D, Henry-Barron B, et al. Effect of intermittent vs. daily calorie restriction on changes in weight and patient-reported outcomes in people with multiple sclerosis. [Published online ahead of print May 5, 2018]. Mult Scler Relat Disord. doi:10.1016/j.msard.2018.05.002.
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