Sodium Intake And Its Association With Multiple Sclerosis Progression

HealthDay News — There is no association between average 24-hour urine sodium levels and conversion from clinically isolated syndrome (CIS) to clinically definite multiple sclerosis (MS), according to a study published in the Annals of Neurology.

Kathryn C. Fitzgerald, ScD, from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, and colleagues examined whether a high-salt diet is associated with faster conversion from CIS to MS. A total of 465 patients with CIS provided a median of 14 spot urine samples during 5-year follow-up of the BENEFIT trial.

The researchers observed no correlation between average 24-hour urine sodium levels and conversion to clinically definite MS over the 5-year follow-up (hazard ratio [HR] 0.91; 95% CI, 0.67-1.24 per 1 g increase in estimated daily sodium intake). There were also no associations with clinical or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) outcomes (new active lesions after 6 months: HR 1.05 [95% CI, 0.97-1.13]; relative change in T2 lesion volume: −0.11 [95% CI, −0.25-0.04]; change in Expanded Disability Status Scale: −0.01 [95% CI, −0.09-0.08]; relapse rate: HR 0.78 [95% CI, 0.56-1.07]). In categorical analyses using quintiles, the results were similar.

“Our results, based on multiple assessments of urine sodium excretion over 5 years and standardized clinical and MRI follow-up, suggest that salt intake does not influence MS disease course or activity,” the authors wrote.

Disclosure: One author is an employee of Bayer AG.


Fitzgerald KC, Munger KL, Hartung HP, et al. Sodium intake and multiple sclerosis activity and progression in BENEFIT [published online May 26, 2017]. Ann Neurol. doi:10.1002/ana.24965