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From The MS Information Sourcebook, produced by the National MS Society.

Maintenance of general good health is very important for persons with MS or any chronic disorder. A well-balanced and carefully planned diet will help to achieve this goal. MS specialists recommend that people with MS adhere to the same low-fat, high fiber diet that is recommended for the general population.

The Problem with Special Diets
While many different diets have been proposed as a treatment, or
even a cure, for the signs and symptoms of MS, evidence of effectiveness is very limited. There is some evidence that a diet low in saturated fats and supplemented by Omega 3 (from fatty fishes, cod-liver oil, or flaxseed oil) and Omega 6 (fatty acids from sunflower or safflower seed oil and possibly evening primrose oil) may have some benefit for people with MS.

Most of the diets that have been touted as helping people with MS have not been subjected to rigorous, controlled studies, and the few that have been evaluated have produced mixed results. Most of the claims made for dietary treatments are based on personal accounts, and the reported benefits may have been spontaneous changes that would have happened without any treatment.

Some Diets May Be Harmful; Others Are Fine
Some special diets may be harmful because they include potentially toxic amounts of certain vitamins, or exclude important nutrients. Others conform to the low fat, high fiber diet recommendations of the American Heart Association and the American Cancer Society for all Americans.

See also...


Society Web Resources

Clinical Bulletin for Healthcare Professionals


Bowling A. Complementary and Alternative Medicine and Multiple Sclerosis (2nd ed.). New York: Demos Medical Publishing, 2006.

Holland NJ, Halper J (eds.). Multiple Sclerosis: A Self-Care Guide to Wellness (2nd ed.). New York: Demos Medical Publishing, 2005.
—Ch. 15 The Role of Nutrition in Multiple Sclerosis

Kalb R. (ed.). Multiple Sclerosis: A Guide for Families (3rd ed.). New York: Demos Medical Publishing, 2005.
Ch. 11 General Health and Well-Being

Schapiro R. Managing the Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis (5th ed.). New York: Demos Medical Publishing, 2007.
—Ch. 19 Diet and Nutrition




Last updated October 2005