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MS Patients Might Benefit From An Intermittent Fasting Diet

By jeremyc | July 8, 2018

Multiple sclerosis (MS for short) is a chronic condition in which the immune system attacks the central nervous system by mistake. This in turn affects the communication between the nerve cells. The symptoms and their severity might vary from patient to patient. The most widely observed symptoms of MS are muscle weakness, coordination problems, chronic pain, and fatigue.

At present, MS is incurable. Available treatments work to manage the condition. Some believe certain dietary interventions might prove beneficial. But, so far, not much research has been done to test this.

However, some time back researchers tested intermittent fasting in mice in which MS was induced. This study came up with positive results.

Based on these findings, the researchers recently tested if intermittent fasting might help prevent or reduce MS symptoms in humans, too. The results of this human pilot study have also been encouraging.

In the animal study, the researchers put some mice on an intermittent fasting diet while others were fed a normal diet. After a period of 4 weeks, all the mice were administered a sort of immunization to trigger MS-like symptoms.

The researchers noted that mice that were put on an intermittent fasting diet showed more resilience to neurologic damage. They also had lower pre-inflammatory cells levels.

Encouraged by these findings, the researchers did a pilot human trial in which 16 individuals with MS were put on an intermittent fasting diet for a period of two weeks. The researchers noted that the immune systems and gut microbiota of these people showed similar changes as were seen in mice.

Now researchers plan to conduct a 12-week-long study on a larger group to further test the efficacy of intermittent fasting in reducing MS symptoms.


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