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Nutrient levels may be key ingredient for MS patients


A new study suggests women with multiple sclerosis may have lower levels of important antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrients than healthy people. Women with MS also had a lower average percentage of their calories from fat than the healthy participants.

Researchers identified 27 women with MS and compared them to 30 healthy women between the ages of 18-60, and with body mass index of less than or equal to 30 kg. Participants reported on their diet and nutrition during the previous year prior to starting vitamin D supplementation. On average, the women who had MS had lower levels of five nutrients with antioxidant or anti-inflammatory properties: food folate, vitamin E, magnesium, lutein-zeaxanthin and quercetin. For food folate, the women with MS had average intake of 244 micrograms, while the healthy women had an average intake of 321 mcg. For magnesium, the women with MS had average intake of 254 milligrams, while the healthy women met the recommended daily allowance of 320 mg with an average of 321 mg.

“Since MS is a chronic inflammatory disorder, having enough nutrients with anti-inflammatory properties may help prevent the disease or reduce the risk of attacks for those who already have MS,” said study author Sandra D. Cassard, Sc.D., with John Hopkins University in Baltimore, Md. “Whether the nutritional differences that we identified in the study are a cause of MS or a result of having it is not yet clear.”

The study will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s 67th annual meeting in Washington, D.C. 

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