Even after making adjustments to variables such as age and length of the disease, researchers found study participants to be more likely to have fewer disabilities.
The study also found that participants with an overall healthy lifestyle were nearly 50 percent less likely to have depression, 30 percent less likely to have severe fatigue, and more than 40 percent less likely to have pain.
“This is a very important study, providing evidence that one might be able to modify neurological status with appropriate diet and lifestyle,” Dr. Barbara Giesser, professor of clinical neurology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and clinical director of the UCLA MS program, told Healthline.
Determining the best foods
As a neurologist who specializes in taking care of people with MS, Giesser said the second most frequently asked question after diagnosis is, “What can I eat or not eat to help my MS?”
The study looked at consumption of fruits, whole foods, alcohol, diet, smoking, and weight.
Participants with the best diet ate an average of 1.7 servings of whole grains per day and 3.3 servings of fresh fruit, vegetables, and legumes.