Women with Multiple Sclerosis Have Low Levels of Nutrients, Antioxidants

HealthDay News — Women with multiple sclerosis (MS) have lower levels of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrients than those without the disease, according to a study that will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology annual meeting in April.

“Since MS is a chronic inflammatory disorder, having enough nutrients with anti-inflammatory properties may help prevent the disease or reduce the risk of attacks for those who already have MS,” study author Sandra Cassard, ScD, of John Hopkins University in Baltimore, said in a news release from the American Academy of Neurology.

The study included 27 white women with MS, aged 18 to 60, and a control group of 30 age-matched healthy white women. The researchers found that, on average, the MS patients had lower levels of five antioxidant nutrients: folate from food, vitamin E, magnesium, lutein-zeaxanthin, and quercetin. Among the women with MS, average daily intake of food folate was 244 µg, compared with 321 µg among healthy women. The recommended daily intake is 400 µg. Average daily magnesium intake was 254 mg among MS patients and 321 mg among healthy women. The recommended daily intake is 320 mg. The women with MS also had a lower percentage of calories from fat than the healthy women.

“Antioxidants are also critical to good health and help reduce the effects of other types of damage that can occur on a cellular level and contribute to neurologic diseases like MS,” Cassard said. “Whether the nutritional differences that we identified in the study are a cause of MS or a result of having it is not yet clear.”

Read the full press release here.