Women who have multiple sclerosis may be getting less of certain antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrients in their det. This preliminary finding may mean either that these nutrients may lower the risk of multiple sclerosis or other neurological conditions or that they slow their progression.
Multiple sclerosis is a disease where the body's immune system has attacked started the covering of fatty substance that protects the surface of nerves, starting a process of inflammation. There are twice as many women with multiple sclerosis as there are men with the condition.
These findings come from a small study of 57 women-27 women with multiple sclerosis and 30 without. All the women were white and had a body mass index of 30 or less. They answered a questionnaire about their diet and the foods they ate most frequently over the previous 12 months. On average, the women with multiple sclerosis ate lower levels of five nutrients that have antioxidant or anti-inflammatory properties: folate, vitamin E, magnesium,, lutein-zeaxanthein, and quercetin.
The women with multiple sclerosis had an average intake of 244 micrograms compared to an average intake of 321 micrograms for the healthy women. The recommended daily allowance is 400 micrograms. For magnesium, the women with multiple sclerosis had average intake of 254 milligrams, while the healthy women met the recommended daily allowance of 320 milligrams. The women with multiple sclerosis also had a smaller average percentage of their calories from fat than the healthy participants.
Because multiple sclerosis is a chronic inflammatory disorder, having enough nutrients with anti-inflammatory properties in your diet may help prevent the disease or reduce the risk of attacks for those who already it, said Sandra D. Cassard, ScD, an author of the study a research associate at John Hopkins University in Baltimore.
Cassard told Medical News Today that these results are preliminary. Larger studies will need to be conducted to see if these findings hold true.
This study will be presented in April at the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Neurology.