HealthDay News — For children with multiple sclerosis, increased fat intake is associated with an increased risk of relapse, while vegetable intake may be protective, according to a study published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry.

Saeedeh Azary, MD, MPH, from the UCSF Regional Pediatric MS Center in San Francisco, and colleagues conducted a study at 11 US pediatric MS centers involving 219 patients with relapsing-remitting MS or clinically isolated syndrome with disease onset before 18 years of age. The validated Block Kids Food Screener was used to assess dietary intake during the week before enrollment.

The researchers found that each 10% increase in energy intake from fat was correlated with a 56% increased risk of relapse (adjusted hazard ratio [HR] 1.56); each 10% increase in saturated fat was correlated with a 3-fold increase in risk (adjusted HR 3.37). 

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The risk of relapse was reduced by 50% for each 1 cup equivalent of vegetables (adjusted HR 0.5). These correlations persisted with mutual adjustment and after adjustment for 25-hydroxyvitamin D serum level at baseline. There was no correlation between other studied nutrients and relapse.

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“This study suggests that in children with MS, high energy intake from fat, especially saturated fat, may increase the hazard to relapse, while vegetable intake may be independently protective,” the authors wrote.

Disclosures: Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.


Azary S, Schreiner T, Graves J, et al. Contribution of dietary intake to relapse rate in early paediatric multiple sclerosis [published online October 9, 2017]. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. doi:10.1136/jnnp-2017-315936