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Can dietary changes help MS?

☀️Another trial looking at the link between diet and MS has been released recently ☀️It looked at the MRI (brain) scans of people with MS, and compared the extent of MS changes in the brain, with people's diet ☀️People who followed a MIND diet (a brain healthy diet designed to reduce dementia symptoms) had significantly less MS changes on MRI scans ☀️The MIND diet is predominantly plant based, and is high in leafy greens, berries, vegetables and nuts, as well as fish. It limits red meat, dairy, processed foods, and saturated fat ☀️Previous studies have found a similar pattern : - high saturated fat diets were associated with higher rates of MS in population studies - a trial of 61 MS patients using a low fat, plant based diet showed improved fatigue as well as improved cholesterol and insulin levels -the 'Swank' diet, which followed MS patients over 50 years, showed reduced MS exacerbations, lower symptoms, and improved life expectancy on a low fat mostly plant based diet - a 2017 Italian study showed significantly reduced symptoms in 20 MS patients over a 12 month period in people following a high plant food /low protein diet ☀️Multiple observational studies have also shown a link between high dairy intake and higher rates of MS ☀️There is also some evidence linking low vitamin D levels with MS: - the nurses health study showed a 40% reduction in MS rates in those who took vitamin D supplements - trials where vitamin D was used to avoid deficiency (serum level >50nmol/L) showed slower MS progression and reduced disability ☀️The MIND diet is a version of the Mediterranean diet which is high in antioxidants. Its also proven to help overall health, in particular brain function, heart health, blood pressure, cholesterol, weight, and diabetes ☀️The key factor in common with all of the studies above, is that they emphasise high intake of whole plant foods, avoiding processed food and added sugar, and limiting saturated fat, red meat and dairy ☀️As Michael pollan famously said 'eat whole foods, not too much, mostly plants'!!16w

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