A new US study suggests that the low-carb, high-fat ketogenic diet could help relieve both physical and psychological symptoms of multiple sclerosis.
One ketogenic diet consists primarily of foods such as meat, fish, eggs, cream, butter, oils, and vegetables such as cabbage and broccoli. It can not only help with weight loss, but also improve the quality of life of people with Multiple Sklerose (MS) improve significantly. This is the conclusion of a new US study presented at this year’s annual meeting of the „American Academy of Neurology“ is presented. According to the scientists involved, not only does the keto diet relieve MS symptoms, but people also report feeling less tired and depressed.
Small but promising human study on the ketogenic diet in multiple sclerosis
The study involved 65 people diagnosed with relapsing-remitting MS. Remitting MS is characterized by sudden flare-ups of symptoms followed by periods of relief. These subjects were required to follow a strict ketogenic diet for a period of six months. Two of the three main meals consisted primarily of eggs, meat, fish, oil, avocado, cucumber or green leafy vegetables. Snacks were also allowed as long as participants met the maximum daily carbohydrate intake of 20 grams. The researchers monitored diet compliance with daily urine tests. A total of 83 percent of the participants held out, according to the university announcement.1
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This is how the participants felt after six months of the keto diet
Before and after the trial period, subjects completed tests and surveys to find out how the ketogenic diet affected their multiple sclerosis. The researchers found that after six months, the participants not only had less body fat, but also felt less fatigued, burned out, and instead felt more confident. They also reported that the relapses and symptoms were less severe. Director of Studies Dr. J. Nicholas Brenton concludes, “Our study provides evidence that a ketogenic diet can be beneficial and reduce some symptoms for people with MS.” Dietary changes are also a cost-effective way to improve overall health.
How the ketogenic diet provides relief for people with MS
The ketogenic diet is considered controversial by some experts because it is too meat-heavy and increases the level of uric acid in the blood and thus the risk of gout and kidney stones. Too strict abstinence from “happy” carbohydrates such as pasta or potatoes can also affect the mood and trigger violent cravings. However, the diet appears to have some benefits specifically for people with MS, says Brenton: “A ketogenic diet allows the body to Fett using it instead of sugar as the primary source of energy, mimicking a fasting state.” This process, in turn, ensures that certain levels of inflammation in the body that can promote an MS flare-up decrease.
More research is needed
Brenton and his team have shown in previous studies that a ketogenic diet immune system strengthens and protects nerve cells. In MS, signals are no longer transmitted smoothly from the brain through the spinal cord to the body. This is because the protective layer that surrounds the individual nerve fibers is inflamed. This is exactly where the ketogenic diet could act like anti-inflammatory “nerve protection”. “However, more research is needed because of other potential risks associated with the diet, such as digestive problems and nutrient deficiencies,” concludes Brenton. Those affected should therefore definitely talk to their doctor before switching to “Keto” on their own.