Study: Diets high in vegetables and fish may lower MS risk

August 17, 2018
A new study suggests people who consume a diet high in vegetables and fish may have a reduced risk of multiple sclerosis. The findings could have potential implications for improving people’s diets to help lower the risk of MS in those who are at high risk.

Researchers from the School of Public Health at Curtin University, in Perth, Australia, found a link between a higher intake of healthy foods, such as vegetables, fish, eggs, poultry and legumes, and a lower risk of MS. The study investigated the links between dietary patterns and the risk of a first clinical diagnosis of central nervous system demyelination, a common precursor to MS.

The study’s authors reviewed dietary intake data from the Ausimmune Study, a multicenter, case-control study conducted across Australia in Brisbane, Newcastle, Geelong, the western districts of Victoria, and Tasmania, and then assessed whether a healthy diet or a western-style diet had an effect on the chances of having a demyelinating event, which involves damage to the myelin sheath that protects the nerves.

They found that a higher intake of healthy foods, such as vegetables and fish, was associated with a lower risk of MS, with around a 50 percent reduced risk in those who had the highest intake of healthy foods, compared to those with a much lower intake. The finding is especially relevant to those who currently consume low amounts of these foods.

The findings were published in the Multiple Sclerosis Journal.

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