Diet guidelines critical for multiple sclerosis patients, research finds

July 12, 2018 by Yasmine Phillips, Curtin University

People recently diagnosed with multiple sclerosis crave and need more advice about recommended foods and diets that will help manage the disease's symptoms, new research led by Curtin University has found.

The research, published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that professionals downplaying or not addressing the importance of following national dietary guidelines for (MS) was in fact having the opposite effect for recently diagnosed individuals, causing them to seek alternative and potentially harmful dietary options.

Lead author Honours student Mrs Rebecca Russell, from the School of Public Health at Curtin University, said the study offered a unique opportunity to review the experiences and responses to diet in people recently diagnosed with MS.

"Multiple sclerosis is an immune-mediated disease that has no current cure and is one of the most common causes of neurological disability in young adults worldwide, affecting at least 2.3 million people globally," Mrs Russell said.

"Our research aimed to explore the role of diet, and whether there had been any changes to diet routines for 11 individuals who had recently been diagnosed with MS in Western Australia.

"We found that there was a lack of generalised dietary advice for people just diagnosed. In light of this, people with MS conducted their own extensive research or self-experimented with diet to either control their MS symptoms or to cure MS."

Co-author Dr. Andrea Begley, also from Curtin's School of Public Health, said the findings highlight the need to improve access to education for people with MS to help counteract the amount of misinformation on the internet.

"Further research is needed to explore dietary perceptions, but our research allowed us to get a better understanding about how recently diagnosed people with MS experience and respond to dietary advice provided by healthcare professionals," Dr. Begley said.

"Our findings may be of interest to healthcare professionals who can fill this apparent void and address concerns with alternative therapeutic diets advertised to treat or cure MS."

The paper was also co-authored by Dr. Lucinda Black and Associate Professor Jill Sherriff from the School of Public Health at Curtin University.

Explore further: Healthy diet reduces asthma symptoms

More information: Rebecca D. Russell et al. Dietary responses to a multiple sclerosis diagnosis: a qualitative study, European Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2018). DOI: 10.1038/s41430-018-0252-5

Related Stories

Healthy diet reduces asthma symptoms

July 11, 2018
People who eat a healthy diet experience fewer asthma symptoms and better control of their condition, according to a new study published in the European Respiratory Journal.

New resources for dietary assessment in health research

November 16, 2017
The links between diet and health are becoming ever more apparent. A detailed understanding of the amounts and types of food people consume is vital to revealing the impact diet has on our health—such as links between sugar ...

Young adults need to eat more omega-3 fats

May 25, 2018
The vast majority of doctors, naturopaths, dietitians and scientists all agree that having more omega-3 fats in our diet is good for our health.

Can diet help reduce disability, symptoms of multiple sclerosis?

December 6, 2017
For people with multiple sclerosis (MS), eating a healthy diet of fruits, vegetables and whole grains may be linked to having less disability and fewer symptoms than people whose diet is less healthy, according to a study ...

Dietary advice improves blood sugar control for recently diagnosed type 2 diabetes patients

June 28, 2011
(Medical Xpress) -- New research from academics at the University of Bristol shows that, in patients with recently diagnosed type 2 diabetes, 6.5 hours of additional dietary advice sessions leads to improvement in blood sugar ...

Strawberries safe for children with cancer

February 26, 2018
A new review from researchers at the University of York suggests dietary guidelines for children with cancer should be changed to allow them to eat strawberries and other fresh foods while undergoing chemotherapy.

Recommended for you

Low-protein high-carb diet shows promise for healthy brain aging

November 20, 2018
Low-protein high-carbohydrate diets may be the key to longevity, and healthy brain ageing in particular, according to a new mice study from the University of Sydney.

Sugar-sweetened beverages are harmful to health and may be addictive, researchers suggest

November 20, 2018
Just as we might have guessed, those tasty, sugar-sweetened beverages that increase risk of diabetes and other chronic diseases may actually be addictive. Youth between 13 and 18 years of age who were deprived of sugary drinks ...

Emotional abuse may be linked with menopause misery

November 19, 2018
Smoking, obesity and a sedentary lifestyle have long been linked to heightened symptoms of menopause. Now, a study headed by UC San Francisco has identified another factor that may add to menopause torment: an emotionally ...

How AI could help veterinarians code their notes

November 19, 2018
A team led by scientists at the School of Medicine has developed an algorithm that can read the typed-out notes from veterinarians and predict specific diseases that the animal may have.

Bullying and violence at work increases the risk of cardiovascular disease

November 19, 2018
People who are bullied at work or experience violence at work are at higher risk of heart and brain blood vessel problems, including heart attacks and stroke, according to the largest prospective study to investigate the ...

A low-gluten, high-fiber diet may be healthier than gluten-free

November 16, 2018
When healthy people eat a low-gluten and fibre-rich diet compared with a high-gluten diet, they experience less intestinal discomfort including less bloating. Researchers at University of Copenhagen show that this is due ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.