Findings suggest low-fat diet reduces fatigue in MS patients

November 13, 2023
New research suggests that people with multiple sclerosis could benefit from a low-fat diet to improve fatigue. The study is the latest in a line of research dating back a decade testing the principle that diet matters, especially for people with MS.

In contrast to a 2016 study that tested a purely plant-based diet, the new study by Oregon Health and Science University researchers was modified to include meat while still remaining low-fat. Exercise was not part of the program, meaning the study solely focused on diet as an intervention.

In the study, the authors conducted a randomized controlled trial in which 39 people with MS who experienced fatigue were divided into two groups: 19 people were placed in the control group and received diet training at the completion of the study after 16 weeks. The other 20 received nutrition counseling from dieticians and then adhered to a low-fat diet, which was confirmed through routine blood sampling revealing clear signals of reduced caloric intake.

Compared with the control group, the active group of participants revealed significant improvement in fatigue, which was gauged through the Modified Fatigue Impact Scale. Every four weeks, participants answered standardized questions measuring aspects such as their ability to pay attention, concentrate, and to carry out routine physical activities.

The study was published the Multiple Sclerosis Journal.

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