Several people with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (MS) who ate a high-fat, low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet saw significant improvement in their MS, including reductions in neurologic disability, fatigue, and depression, and improved overall quality of life, according to a new study.
The ketogenic diet that was popular for weight loss and among the fitness community was put to the test among 65 individuals with relapsing-remitting MS, an inflammatory disorder that the immune system uses to protect the brain and spinal cord. MS symptoms vary widely, but patients often struggle with cognition, dexterity, and mobility.
More than 80% of participants on the keto diet remained loyal to it for the whole six-month study period. Participants also improved fatigue, depression, and quality of life. In addition, their physical endurance tests improved, such as the six-minute walk.
The findings from the study are exciting and a testament to our dedication and resilience of our study participants, as well as the resilience of those living with MS. Our research demonstrates the validity of dietary changes in MS patients, but also the potential benefits that may arise from such interventions.
About the Ketogenic Diet
Unlike carbs and sugars, a ketogenic diet mimics the body''s fasting state. It reduces carbohydrates significantly and replaces them with healthy fats and proteins. As a result, the body is using fat as a primary energy source (and instead of carbs).
Changes in diets are believed to have harmful effects on the body''s immune system. Specifically, the ketogenic diet may have several benefits for immune-mediated disorders, so Brenton wanted to explore how this diet might assist MS patients.
He and his collaborators identified that the diet had a broad spectrum of benefits, based both on patient reports and laboratory tests. For example, patients on keto walked farther and faster in six minutes than they did prior to the diet. Other benefits included reduced total body fat and improved fine motor speed, as well as improved fatigue, depression, and quality of life scores, and improvements in the inflammation of the blood markers.
The authors argue that the ketogenic diet is effective in reducing MS-related symptoms and overall health in the long term.
According to Brenton, a ketogenic diet is beneficial and effective, reducing certain symptoms for MS patients, which is often associated with these foods. It is important that patients with MS consult with their healthcare provider before making any significant changes to their diet, and that they be regularly monitored by a doctor and registered dietitian if they follow a true ketogenic diet.
The researchers will conduct their research at the American Academy of Neurologys'' 74th annual meeting in April in Seattle. They will also distribute the results to a peer-reviewed journal. Brenton,Diana Lehner-Gulotta,Emma Woolbright, Mark Conaway, Brenda Banwell,Christina Bergqvist, and Myla Goldman