In a new study from Curtin University, Australia, researchers find that eating diet high in vegetables and fish may help reduce risk of multiple sclerosis (MS).
There are many environmental risk factors for MS, including low vitamin D status and low sun exposure, smoking, and a history of glandular fever.
But the connections between diet and risk of multiple sclerosis is still unclear.
In the study, the team used data from the 2003–2006 Ausimmune Study, a case–control study examining risk factors for MS.
Using data from a food frequency questionnaire, the researchers found diet patterns of the participants.
They identified two main dietary patterns, including healthy (high in poultry, fish, eggs, vegetables, legumes) and Western (high in meat, full-fat dairy; low in whole grains, nuts, fresh fruit, low-fat dairy).
The increase in the healthy pattern score was linked a 25% reduced risk of diagnosis of MS.
Moreover, those who had the highest intake of healthy foods had a 50% reduced risk of MS compared to those with a much lower intake.
There was no strong link between the Western dietary pattern and risk of MS.
The team suggests that while there is no known cure for MS, their research could help improve people’s diets to help reduce the risk of MS in those who are at high risk.
It is important to provide accurate advice to people who are at a higher risk of getting the condition, as this could help to improve their lifestyle and diet.
The lead author Dr. Lucinda Black is from the School of Public Health at Curtin University.
The study is published in Multiple Sclerosis Journal.
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Source: Multiple Sclerosis Journal.