Study Of Certain Food Effects On MS Bared

A recent study has looked into how certain foods and drinks may affect multiple sclerosis and its progression. European researchers asked patients registered under the Flemish MS Society to take part in a survey which included questions regarding their history, their MS as well as their consumption of fish, wine, coffee, alcohol, tea and cigarettes. Around 1,372 patients agreed to take part on the said study.

The participants in the survey, along with the given questions that they have to answer also were required to indicate the level of their Expanded Disability Status Scale or EDSS from stage zero to ten and when this occurred. A patient reaching an EDSS 6 stage is characterized by mobility that already requires the support of a walking aid.

The participants who took part in the said survey were aged between 17 to 89 years old. Around 65 percent of them had relapsing onset MS, 76 percent of which were female. Around 35 percent of the participants had progressive onset MS, 62 percent of which were female.

When all the data was collected, the researchers analyzed how long it would take people to reach EDSS 6 and compared the participants according to their consumption of fish, alcohol, non-alcoholic drinks and cigarettes. The results showed that:

Around 51 percent of the participants reached EDSS 6 at an average disease duration of 20 years. Around 80 percent of them suffer from progressive onset MS while around 36 percent were of the relapsing onset. The researchers also found out that relapsing onset MS patients who consumed an average of a serving of alcohol in a week or more reached EDSS 6 seven years later than those people who did not drink at all. Wine drinkers reached the same stage four years later than those who did not drink wine.

Coffee drinkers reached EDSS 6 five years later in people with relapsing onset MS but with no significant difference for those with progressive onset MS. People who consumed fish two or more times in a week reached EDSS 6 seven years later in patients with relapsing MS compared to those who ate it less than once a month. As to cigarettes, those who smoke daily raised their hazard risk in relapsing onset MS.

According to Dr Marie D’hooghe from the National MS Center at Melsbroek, Belgium and lead author of the study, “Although our findings show a number of associations between consumption and disease progression, it is important that patients recognize that this does not imply that certain food and drinks provide a protective effect as other factors may be involved.”

“Our study does, however, provide valuable pointers for future research as it reinforces the theory that different mechanisms may be involved in the progression of disability in relapsing and progressive onset MS,” Dr. D’hooghe added.  The study findings are published in the April issue of the European Journal of Neurology.

Source: Medical News Today

 
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