Risk for Central Nervous System Demyelination Reduced by Healthy Diet

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A healthy diet including fish, eggs, vegetables, poultry, and legumes may lower the risk for central nervous system demyelination.
A healthy diet including fish, eggs, vegetables, poultry, and legumes may lower the risk for central nervous system demyelination.

Following a healthy diet could lower the risk for first clinical diagnosis of central nervous system demyelination in people with a high risk for multiple sclerosis, according to a recent study published in Multiple Sclerosis Journal.

The researchers of this study looked for a link between symptoms of inflammatory central nervous system demyelination and diet in 252 patients with a high risk for multiple sclerosis and 446 healthy controls. The Cancer Council Victoria Dietary Questionnaire for Epidemiological Studies version 2 was used as the food frequency questionnaire to gain information on diet. Covariates such as race, infectious mononucleosis, education, and smoking were also recorded. Blood analysis, body mass index, and basal metabolic rate were evaluated. The healthy pattern diet included high levels of poultry, fish, eggs, vegetables, and legumes. The Western pattern diet included high levels of red meat, processed meat, and full-fat dairy.

In the healthy pattern diet, a 1 standard deviation increase reduced risk for a first clinical diagnosis of central nervous system demyelination by 55% when fully adjusted for covariates (adjusted odds ratio 0.45; 95% CI, 0.24-0.83; P =.011). The healthy pattern diet also displayed a 1 standard deviation increase associated with reduced risk for first clinical diagnosis of central nervous system demyelination by 28% in women (adjusted odds ratio 0.72; 95% CI, 0.56-0.93; P =.011) and 9% in men (adjusted odds ratio 0.91; 95% CI 0.43-1.93; P =.808). Researchers found no significant interactions between the healthy pattern diet and body mass index or between the Western pattern diet and risk of first clinical diagnosis of central nervous system demyelination or body mass index.

Limitations of this study include potential inaccurate self-reporting of food intake and potential confounding variables not taken into consideration.

Researchers conclude that a diet high in poultry, fish, eggs, vegetables, and legumes could help protect against the risk of first clinical diagnosis of central nervous system demyelination, especially in women.

This study was supported by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society of the United States of America, the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia, and Multiple Sclerosis Research Australia. Please refer to reference for a complete list of authors' disclosures.

Reference

Black LJ, Rowley C, Sherriff J, Pereira G, Ponsonby AL, Lucas RM. A healthy dietary pattern associates with a lower risk of a first clinical diagnosis of central nervous system demyelination [published online Aug. 7, 2018]. Mult Scler J. doi: 10.1177/1352458518793524

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