Could the keto diet relieve MS symptoms?

Share on PinterestA recent study suggests that the keto diet might help some people with MS. martin-dm/Getty ImagesA preliminary study has found that participants with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (MS) who followed a ketogenic diet for 6 months experienced improvements in fatigue, mood, and the quality of life.The study also demonstrated improvements in walking distance, disability, and finger dexterity.Still, determining the potential for a keto diet to be a complementary MS treatment will require further research.

MS is a chronic neurological disease that affects nearly 2.3 million adults globally. At least two to three times as many women have MS, compared with men. At present, there is no cure.

In a person with MS, the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks the insulation around nerves, which is called myelin. This insulation helps nerves efficiently transmit electrical impulses.

Some people with MS experience mild symptoms with little or no impairment, but for most people with MS, symptoms worsen over time, eventually leading to varying degrees of disability.

Disease-modifying treatments can suppress the immune response that characterizes MS. This can reduce the number and severity of attacks and delay progression. Still, not everyone responds to this treatment.

Recent research indicates that a ketogenic diet, which is low in carbohydrates and high in fat, might benefit people with MS.

Decreased carbohydrate consumption reduces glucose and insulin levels. This causes the body to produce ketones from fats, and ketones serve as an alternative fuel source.

Previous studies have suggested that ketones may aid in the regeneration of demyelinated nerves and reduce inflammation. This led investigators to evaluate a keto diet’s safety, tolerability, and effects in participants with relapsing-remitting MS.

People with this condition have periods of new or worsening symptoms, which are called “exacerbations” or “relapses.” These are followed by periods of remission, when the symptoms improve or disappear.

The authors of the recent study will present their preliminary findings at the American Academy of Neurology’s 74th Annual Meeting, in…

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