Results from a new study could help people with multiple sclerosis evaluate what types of foods they should consume. A report published on Aug. 14 in the European Journal of Neurology focused on whether the consumption of meat was associated with self-assessed disability progression, fatigue levels, or risk of depression in people with MS. The HOLISM cohort study, which followed participants for 2.5 years, included an international population.
The authors analyzed questionnaires completed by 1,346 people with MS over the course of the study period. As they were completing the surveys, participants also revealed whether they’d had any symptoms related to recent MS relapses, and outcomes were adjusted accordingly. The participants completed a Diet Habits Questionnaire, and researchers calculated their Patient-Determined MS Severity Scores to assess their disability levels, used the Fatigue Severity Scale to evaluate their fatigue levels, and administered the Patient Health Questionnaire-2 to assess their depression risk.
Researchers found that meat consumption at baseline was related to a 76 percent increased risk in progessive disability. The study authors noted that “better quality of the diet, as well as not consuming meat, were associated with reduced disability progression in people with MS.” They added that additional studies confirming these results could better allow health care providers to manage the progression of disability via dietary changes in individuals who have MS.
Read more about healthy eating and MS.