According to a review published in Advances in Nutrition, the ketogenic diet may benefit some patients with multiple sclerosis. Particularly younger patients. Multiple sclerosis affects about 2.3 million people worldwide. However, there is currently is no cure.
Many patients with multiple sclerosis have attempted various dietary modifications to gain better control over their disease. But to date, there is not enough evidence to recommend a specific diet for these patients.
What Is The Ketogenic Diet?
The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, low-carbohydrate dies that has traditionally been used to treat hard-to-control epilepsy among children. More recently, the ketogenic diet, which exerts anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects, has been considered potentially beneficial for other neurological conditions. This includes multiple sclerosis.
Despite the diet’s potential therapeutic effects, researchers are concerned that it may also produce adverse side effects. For example, chronic low-grade metabolic acidosis, which can lead to low-grade metabolic acidosis and kidney stones. Moreover, chronic low-grade metabolic acidosis can increase the risk of chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and hypertension.
Published in Advances in Nutrition, examines its latest research findings. In an effort to determine the success of a ketogenic diet among patients with multiple sclerosis. Additionally, the authors of this scientific review sought to determine future research directions to address unresolved questions.
To conduct their research, the authors performed a thorough search of the scientific literature. This included both human and animal model studies. Their efforts led them to three pilot clinical trials of ketogenic diet therapy for multiple sclerosis. Not to mention, several related studies.
According to the authors, preliminary findings suggest that the diet is safe and feasible. Also, potentially neuroprotective and disease-modifying for patients with multiple sclerosis. Especially noted was improved Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) scores. EDSS is a standardized method of quantifying disability among patients with multiple sclerosis. Patients also experienced other beneficial effects, including less fatigue and depression.
Two of the clinical trials the authors reviewed did report adverse events.
1. Respiratory tract infections, gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea, constipation, and nausea.
2. Genitourinary problems such as ureteric colic, urinary tract infection, and menstrual irregularities.
Overall, the authors found very few serious adverse events among multiple sclerosis patients consuming the diet. Obviously, more research will be conducted.
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