Having enough nutrients with anti-inflammatory properties may help prevent the disease
Women with multiple sclerosis (MS) may have lower levels of important anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrients, such as folate from food and vitamin E, than healthy people, according to a new study.
For the study, researchers identified 27 Caucasian women with MS and compared them with 30 healthy Caucasian women between the ages of 18-60 and with body mass index of less than or equal to 30kg/m2. Participants reported on their diet and nutrition over the previous year prior to starting vitamin D supplementation.
On average, the women who had MS had lower levels of five nutrients with antioxidant or anti-inflammatory properties: food folate, vitamin E, magnesium, lutein-zeaxanthin and quercetin. For food folate, the women with MS had average intake of 244mcg, while the healthy women had an average intake of 321mcg. The recommended daily allowance is 400mcg. For magnesium, the women with MS had average intake of 254mg, while the healthy women met the recommended daily allowance of 320mg with an average of 321mg. The women with MS also had a lower average percentage of their calories from fat than the healthy participants.
‘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,’ said study author Sandra Cassard, at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD, US.
‘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. 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.’
The study was supported by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS).
The results of the study will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s 67th Annual Meeting in Washington, DC, 18-25 April 2015.