Calorie Restriction Diets Safe, Effective for Weight Loss in Multiple Sclerosis

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Patients were randomly assigned to either a control diet, a daily calorie restricted diet, or an intermittent calorie restricted diet.
Patients were randomly assigned to either a control diet, a daily calorie restricted diet, or an intermittent calorie restricted diet.

For patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), calorie restriction diets are a safe, effective way to achieve weight loss and may be associated with improved emotional health, according to results published in Multiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders.

Both daily calorie reduction and intermittent calorie reduction diets were effective for achieving weight loss.

The study included participants with MS (n=36) who were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 diets for 8 weeks: daily calorie restriction diet (22% daily reduction in energy needs), intermittent calorie restriction diet (75% reduction in energy needs, 2 days/week), or a weight-stable diet (0% reduction in energy needs).

Of the 36 participants, 86% (n=31) completed the trial, and no significant adverse events occurred.

Participants who were randomly assigned to either calorie restriction diet lost a median 3.4 kg. Participants' weight changes did not significantly differ by type of calorie restriction diet. However, participants assigned to a daily calorie restrictive diet tended to have greater weight loss (-3.6 kg) compared with intermittent calorie restriction (-3.0 kg).

Adherence to diets differed significantly, with less adherence among those on the intermittent calorie restriction diet (P =.002).

Participants who were assigned to either calorie restriction diet showed significant improvements in emotional well-being/depression scores compared with the control diet participants, with an average increase of 1.69 points over 8 weeks.

Reference

Fitzgerald KC, Vizthum D, Henry-Barron B, et al. Effect of intermittent vs. daily calorie restriction on changes in weight and patient-reported outcomes in people with multiple sclerosis. Mult Scler Relat Disord. 2018;23:33-39.

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