Multiple Sclerosis Resource Centre
  • Home
  • About MS
  • MSRC Services
  • Get Involved
  • MS Research News
  • MSRC Groups
  • Useful Resources
  • Welcome To Josephs Court, MS Centre Of Excellence
  • Advertising
  • E-Newsletter
  • Contact Us
  • Cookie Policy
  • Investor in People
    You are here : Home » MS Research News » Diet And MS

    Diet And MS

    A A A
    [Print this page]

    Share |


    More news can be found in New Pathways Magazine, our bi-monthly publication, and also check daily at MSRC: Latest MS News.

    Fish oil supplements won't help in Multiple Sclerosis: study

    Fish Oil Omega-3 fatty acid supplements don't appear to have any benefit on multiple sclerosis (MS), according a study by Norwegian researchers.

    Multiple sclerosis affects about 2.5 million people worldwide. Some prior research has indicated that omega-3 fatty acid supplements might have anti-inflammatory effects that could benefit those with the disease, according to background information in the study.

    Omega-3 fatty acids are found in cold-water fish, such as salmon, and in fish oil supplements.

    "Our study provides evidence that omega-3 supplementation has no beneficial effect on MS, neither given alone nor in combination with interferon treatment," said lead researcher Dr. Oivind Torkildsen, from Haukeland University Hospital, in Bergen. Interferon is a standard drug given to MS patients.

    "Our data do not suggest that omega-3 fatty acid supplementation was harmful or that it interfered with interferon beta treatment," he added.

    This study is important, not only for neurologists and MS patients, but also for general practitioners, who frequently advise patients about lifestyle interventions and complementary approaches to MS treatment, Torkildsen said.

    The report was published in the April 16 online edition of the Archives of Neurology.

    For the study, Torkildsen's team looked at 92 MS patients, aged 18 to 55, with a form of the disease known as relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis.

    Half of the patients were given the supplement alone or the supplement plus injections of interferon beta-1a. The other half received an inactive placebo.

    After six months, all patients were given interferon beta-1a three times a week for an additional 18 months.

    When the patients underwent MRI brain scans to look for new lesions, the researchers found no effect on the disease among those taking omega-3 fatty acid supplements.

    The results were the same whether omega-3 fatty acid supplements were used alone or in combination with interferon beta-1a, the study authors noted.

    These findings were in contrast with two other studies that showed possible positive effects from fish oil supplements, Torkildsen and colleagues pointed out.

    No difference existed between the groups in the number of relapses during the first six months of treatment or after 24 months, and there were no differences in fatigue or quality of life, according to the results.

    Commenting on the study, Dr. Kottil Rammohan, a professor of neurology and director of the MS division at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, said, "It doesn't surprise me that omega-3 fatty acids had no effect on MS. I have never looked upon omega-3 fatty acids as having an effect on MS and I have a lot of patients who take these supplements for heart health," he said.

    However, Rammohan added, "This study won't change my advice to patients to take omega-3 fatty acid supplements because they have other health benefits."

    Source: US News & World Report Copyright © 2012 U.S.News & World Report LP (17/04/12)

    Omega-3 fatty acids could prevent and treat nerve damage

    OilResearch from Queen Mary, University of London suggests that omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in fish oil, have the potential to protect nerves from injury and help them to regenerate.

    When nerves are damaged because of an accident or injury, patients experience pain, weakness and muscle paralysis which can leave them disabled, and recovery rates are poor.

    The new study, published this week in the Journal of Neuroscience, suggests that omega-3 fatty acids could play a significant role in speeding recovery from nerve injury.

    The study focused on peripheral nerve cells. Peripheral nerves are the nerves which transmit signals between the brain and spinal cord, and the rest of the body.

    These nerves have the ability to regenerate but, despite advances in surgical techniques, patients usually only have good recovery when their injury is minor.

    Omega-3 fatty acids are vital for the body's normal growth and development and have been widely researched for their health benefits. Because the body cannot manufacture omega-3 fatty acids, they have to be consumed in foods such as oily fish.

    In the new study, researchers first looked at isolated mouse nerve cells. They simulated the type of damage caused by accident or injury, by either stretching the cells or starving them of oxygen. Both types of damage killed a significant number of nerve cells but enrichment with omega-3 fatty acids in cells gave them significant protection and decreased cell death.

    Next the researchers studied the sciatic nerves of mice. They found that a high level of omega-3 fatty acids helped mice to recover from sciatic nerve injury more quickly and more fully, and that their muscles were less likely to waste following nerve damage.

    The research was carried out by a group led by Adina Michael-Titus, Professor of Neuroscience at Barts and The London Medical School and lead of the Neurotrauma and Neurodegeneration group in the Centre for Neuroscience and Trauma, Queen Mary, University of London.

    She explained: "Our previous research has shown that these fatty acids could have beneficial effects in a number of neurological conditions. This new study suggests that they could also have a role in treating peripheral nerve injuries.

    "More work is needed but our research indicates that omega-3 fatty acids can protect damaged nerve cells, which is a critical first step in a successful neurological recovery."

    Source: Medical News Today © MediLexicon International Ltd 2004-2012 (13/01/12)

    What you eat and drink may affect your MS

    FoodIf you have multiple sclerosis, will drinking wine make the disease worse? How about smoking? Or eating fish? How do daily choices affect your condition?

    Researchers from Belgium and the Netherlands wanted to take an in-depth look at some of the most common daily life choices, and learn how they affected the progression of disease in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS).

    The results were maybe not what you'd expect: Alcohol, coffee, and fish consumption reduced the risk of relapsing onset MS patients needing to use a cane to walk. Only smoking increased the risk.

    The research was conducted by the National MS Center in Belgium, the Flemish MS society and the neurological and statistical department from the University of Brussels. Previous studies have suggested that lifestyle factors have an influence on how MS progresses, or worsens, in a patient.

    They surveyed 1372 patients with MS from the Flemish MS society. They answered a questionnaire about their alcohol, coffee, fish, and cigarette intake.

    The researchers were looking for how long it took participants to reach a stage of the disease labeled Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) 6. It means that the patient must use a cane or support to walk a distance of over 100 meters. EDSS 6 is considered a milestone in the progression of MS, and is irreversible.

    The researchers considered how long it took from birth to EDSS 6, and from the onset of the disease to EDSS 6, considering the participants' lifestyle choices.

    They found that the results varied depending on what type of MS the patient had. There are four possible disease courses, including relapsing and progressive MS. Relapsing involves sudden, defined neurological attacks that cause worsening disability and loss of function. Progressive forms of MS means that neurological function is steadily worsening.

    For patients with relapsing MS, higher consumption of fish, alcohol, and coffee was associated with a decreased likelihood that the patient walked with a cane, and smoking increased the risk. The same was true for progressive forms, but interestingly, there was a difference between fatty fish and lean fish.

    Fatty fish is associated with an increased risk to reach EDSS 6, whereas lean fish decreased it.

    The study authors suggested that alcohol has anti-inflammatory properties, and that's why it might slow MS, which is an inflammatory disease. Caffeine might suppress pro-inflammatory elements of the body, but this has not been well studied.

    A diet rich in fish might be suggestive of an overall healthier lifestyle, but the difference between lean and fatty fish for patients with progressive MS can not yet be explained.

    The researchers stop short of suggesting that fish, alcohol, and coffee protect against the progression of disease, but more studies are needed before any firm conclusions can be made.

    The study was published in late November 2011, in the European Journal of Neurology.

    Source: DailyRX Copyright © 2008-2011 Patient Conversation Media, inc. (05/12/11)

    Potential impact of cinnamon on Multiple Sclerosis studied
    CinnamonA neurological scientist at Rush University Medical Center has received a grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to evaluate whether cinnamon, a common food spice and flavoring material, may stop the destructive process of multiple sclerosis (MS).

    The two-year, $750,000 NIH grant will fund research that will analyze the effects of cinnamon on the disease process in mice.

    "Since medieval times, physicians have used cinnamon to treat a variety of disorders including arthritis, coughing and sore throats," said Kalipada Pahan, PhD., who is the Floyd A. Davis professor of neurology at Rush and principal investigator of the study. "Our initial findings in mice indicate that cinnamon may also help those suffering from MS."

    MS is an autoimmune disease that attacks the central nervous system, which consists of the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves. The disease is caused by damage to the myelin sheath, which is a fatty tissue that surrounds and protects the nerve cells. When myelin or the nerve fiber is damaged or destroyed, the nerve impulses are slowed down and the electrical impulses to and from the brain are disrupted. This disruption causes the symptoms of MS, which include numbness in the limbs, paralysis and loss of vision.

    The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS are unpredictable and vary from one person to another. Episodes can last for days, weeks or months. These episodes alternate with periods of reduced or no symptoms. Because nerves in any part of the brain or spinal cord may be damaged, patients with MS can have symptoms in many parts of the body including muscles, bowel and bladder, eyes, speech, and swallowing.

    Researchers are not sure what triggers the disease. The most common theories point to a virus or genetic defect, or a combination of both. Geographic studies indicate there may be an environmental factor involved.

    Glial cell activation in the brain has been implicated in the pathogenesis of a variety of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and MS. Activated glial cells accumulate and secrete different neurotoxin factors that cause various autoimmune responses that lead to brain injury.

    "These autoimmune reactions in the brain ultimately kill oligodendrocytes, which are a certain type of brain cell that protects the nerve cells and myelin sheath," said Pahan. "However, cinnamon has an anti-inflammatory property to counteract and inhibit the glial activation that causes brain cell death."

    Source: Medical News Today © MediLexicon International Ltd 2004-2011 (23/06/11)

    © Multiple Sclerosis Resource Centre (MSRC)

    Related Items
    Bacteria
    Biomarkers And MicroRNA
    Blood Tests And MS
    Botox
    Brain Inflammation
    Brain Iron Deposits
    Cancer And MS
    Chronic Cerebrospinal Venous Insufficiency (CCSVI)
    Cognition and Cognitive Issues
    CRMP-2
    Drugs
    Endo-parasites & 'Helpful' Organisms
    Environmental Factors And MS
    Ethnic Groups and MS
    Exercise And MS
    Genetics and MS
    Hormones And MS
    Immune Cells And MS
    Kallikrein 6
    Lightning Process® And Multiple Sclerosis
    Lipids And MS
    Lymphoid Tissue Inducer (LTi) Cells
    Medical Imaging
    MS Stem Cell Research & Treatment
    MS Symptoms
    Myelin
    Nerve And Brain Cells
    Neuropsychiatric and Psychological
    Neurosteroids
    Osteoporosis And MS
    Paediatric MS
    Pain
    Potential Viral Causes Of MS
    Pregnancy And MS
    Quality Of Life
    Stress And MS
    Technology And MS
    The Blood Brain Barrier
    Types Of MS
    Vaccinations & MS
    Vitamin D


    Did you find this information useful? Would you like to comment on this page? Let us know what you think! We welcome all comments and feedback on any aspect of our website - please click here to contact us.