Patients Say Ketogenic Diet Aids Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms

Researchers found that 21% of participants reported continued adherence to a strict ketogenic diet, while 37% reported adhering to a liberalized, less restrictive form of the ketogenic diet.

HealthDay News Patients report that a ketogenic diet (KD) improves multiple sclerosis (MS) symptoms, according to a study published in the August issue of Clinical Nutrition.

Emma Wetmore, from University of Virginia in Charlottesville, and colleagues evaluated patient perceptions of the KD. The analysis included three-month follow-up from 52 participants with relapsing MS previously enrolled in a prospective six-month KD trial.

The researchers found that 21 percent of participants reported continued adherence to a strict KD, while 37 percent reported adhering to a liberalized, less restrictive form of the KD. At the end of the trial, participants with greater reductions in body mass index and fatigue while on the diet were more likely to continue on KD. Patient-reported and clinical outcomes at three months posttrial remained significantly improved from baseline (pre-KD), although the degree of improvement was slightly attenuated compared with outcomes at six months on KD. Dietary patterns shifted toward greater protein and polyunsaturated fats and less carbohydrate and added sugar consumption, regardless of diet type after the KD trial. Nearly half of participants believed the KD benefited MS symptoms (e.g., paresthesias, numbness, balance, and headaches), and nearly one-quarter of participants (23 percent) were able to reduce and/or discontinue previously prescribed medications that had been used for symptomatic treatment.

“This post-trial observational study provides evidence that KDs are sustainable diets (in the short term) outside of the clinical trial setting,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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