Diet is Important in Multiple Sclerosis
Evidence-Based Recommendations on Diet in Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
Eating healthy can help manage MS symptoms. Learn about dietary research and evidence-based recommendations. Lifestyle factors such as smoking, diet and exercise impact the risk of getting MS and worsening of MS after it is diagnosed.
Diet may impact MS in several possible ways:
- Establishing and maintaining a healthy body weight is associated with decreased risk for MS-related disability and disease activity (e.g., relapses and lesions on MRI).
- Diet affects the composition of the gut microbiome (bacteria that live in the gut) which in turn have important effects on the immune system that may be relevant for MS.
- Dietary metabolites (such as vitamins, fatty acids (fat) and amino acids that form proteins) have direct effects on the immune system and the brain.
There is no definitive diet that has been scientifically proven to be beneficial in changing the course of MS. There are serious challenges to conducting dietary research in MS that the MS research community is working hard to address. Most MS experts agree that a healthy diet is an important complement to your MS treatment plan for the long-term health of your nervous system. Some general healthy recommendations agreed upon by health experts include:
- Prepare meals at home as much as possible.
- Incorporate colorful fresh fruits and vegetables daily.
- If you choose to eat grains, choose whole grains over refined grains.
- Avoid or limit processed foods and added sugars as much as possible.
Please remember to check with your doctor before making changes to your diet.
To access the full article on diet and Multiple Sclerosis, click here.
Watch this video to hear from people living with MS and healthcare professionals discuss and symptoms.