Diet & Nutrition in MS

Diet is important in MS

Lifestyle factors such as smoking, diet and exercise impact the risk of getting MS and worsening of MS after it is diagnosed.

Diet may impact MS in several possible ways:

  • Establishing and maintaining a healthy body weight is associated with decreased risk for MS-related disability and disease activity (e.g., relapses and lesions on MRI)
  • Diet has a strong relationship to body weight and the development of cardiovascular (heart and blood vessels) risk factors, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes
    • The presence of cardiovascular risk factors are associated with higher levels of MS-related disability and disease activity
    • Cardiovascular risk factors can lead to other health conditions (i.e., comorbid conditions), such as heart disease and stroke
  • Diet affects the composition of the gut microbiome (bacteria that live in the gut) which in turn have important effects on the immune system that may be relevant for MS
  • Dietary metabolites (such as vitamins, fatty acids (fat), and amino acids that form proteins) have direct effects on the immune system and the brain