Researchers analyze the dietary habits of 260 patients in the early stages of multiple sclerosis from baseline to 5 years after initial onset of symptoms.
Although many individuals in the early stages of central nervous system demyelination from multiple sclerosis continue to follow their usual dietary patterns, there is evidence that a small percentage do improve upon these dietary habits in the first 5 years after onset of symptoms, according to research presented at the 34th Congress of the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis, held October 10-12, 2018, in Berlin, Germany.
Researchers used data from the Cancer Council Victoria Food Frequency Questionnaire to analyze the dietary habits of 260 patients in the early stages of multiple sclerosis from baseline to 5 years after initial onset of symptoms. Iterated principal factor analysis and linear regression were used to identify dietary patterns and evaluate the determinants thereof. They categorized 3 dietary patterns: Western (42.5% at baseline), which included a high amount of take-out, processed meats, confectionary, fried foods, and alcoholic beverages; Mixed (41.4% at baseline), which included high amounts of fried and sweet foods with some vegetables; and Prudent (32.0% at baseline), which included high amounts of non-fried fish, whole grains, fresh fruits, some vegetables, and wine.
Participants who were smokers or overweight were more likely to have a higher Western diet score, whereas female and middle-aged participants were more likely to have a lower Western diet score. Higher Prudent diet scores were found among middle-aged participants, physically active participants, and participants taking omega-3/6 supplements. After 5 years, the percentage of participants with primarily Western dietary patterns dropped from 42.5% to 29.1%, Mixed dropped from 41.4% to 30.2%, and Prudent rose from 32.0% to 37.6%. A significant drop in Western diet scores was seen among females and participants who had lowered their body mass index (BMI), and the change in Prudent diet scores was significantly less among participants who increased their BMIs or had been current smokers at baseline.
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