Ketogenic Diet May Reduce Disability and Improve Quality of Life in People With Multiple Sclerosis

Summary: Multiple sclerosis patients who followed a ketogenic diet experienced less fatigue, improved symptoms of depression, and improved quality of life. Additionally, those who followed a keto diet had reduced levels of inflammatory markers in blood samples.

Source: AAN

A ketogenic diet, which primarily consists of foods like meat, fish, eggs, heavy cream, butter, oils and non-starchy vegetables like pea pods, carrots, broccoli and peppers, may be safe for people with multiple sclerosis (MS).

That is according to a preliminary study released March 1, 2022, that will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s 74th Annual Meeting being held in person in Seattle, April 2 to 7, 2022 and virtually, April 24 to 26, 2022. The preliminary study also found people with MS may experience less fatigue and depression and report an improved quality of life while on the diet.

“A ketogenic diet, which is high in fats, adequate in protein, and low in carbohydrates, allows the body to utilize fat as its primary source of energy instead of sugars, thus mimicking a fasting state,” said study author J. Nicholas Brenton, MD, of the University of Virginia in Charlottesville and a member of the American Academy of Neurology.

“A ketogenic diet helps lower blood sugar levels in people with type II diabetes and improve seizure control in people with epilepsy. However, it has not been well-studied in people with MS. Diet changes can be an inexpensive way to improve overall health, so our study explored whether eating a ketogenic diet is safe, tolerable and beneficial for people living with MS.”

The study enrolled 65 people diagnosed with relapsing-remitting MS. Relapsing-remitting MS is the most common form of the disease, marked by symptom flare-ups followed by periods of remission.

Study participants consumed a ketogenic diet for six months. They were instructed to consume two to three ketogenic meals per day consisting of one to two servings of low-carbohydrate proteins such as eggs, fish or meat alongside two to four tablespoons of fat, such as butter, oil, avocado, ghee or heavy cream, and one to two cups of non-starchy vegetables such as cucumbers, leafy greens…

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