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Research papers – fats and multiple sclerosis

Discover the research studies that discuss the impact of fats on multiple sclerosis.

Published research illustrating the impact of diet found in May 2023 in a project between A McConnell and Dr Jonathan White.

Fats and multiple sclerosis

Paper: Welayah Ali AlAmmar et al, Effect of omega-3 fatty acids and fish oil supplementation on multiple sclerosis: a systematic review, Nutr Neurosci.,  2021 Jul;24(7):569-579.

Journal: Nutritional Neuroscience, 2021 Jul

Conclusions: This work reviewed the literature systematically for evidence on the effect of omega-3 fatty acids (EPA, DPA and DHA) on MS progression in adults. Results: A total of 5554 studies were screened. These studies showed the beneficial roles of fish oil supplementation and omega-3 fatty acids in improving the quality of life of MS patients. These roles were attributed to their beneficial effects on inflammatory markers, glutathione reductase, reducing the relapsing rate, and achieving balanced omega-6 to omega-3 ratios.

Conclusion of the review:  Omega-3 and fish oils supplementations have beneficial effects on reducing the relapsing rate, inflammatory markers, and improving the quality of life for MS patients.

Paper: Panayiotis Aristotelous et al, The Effects of Specific Omega-3 and Omega-6 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids and Antioxidant Vitamins on Gait and Functional Capacity Parameters in Patients with Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis.

Journal: Nutrients 2021, Oct 19

Description: The current study/randomised controlled  clinical study,  aimed to examine the effect of a 24-month supplementation with a cocktail dietary supplement formula, the NeuroaspisTM PLP10, containing specific omega-3 and omega-6 PUFAs and specific antioxidant vitamins on gait and functional capacity parameters of patients with MS.

All patients (51) in this trial where on B interferon DMT.

The results of the present study support the hypothesis that this specific dietary formula (Neuroaspis® PLP10), a mixture of specific bioactive molecules, the omega-3 PUFAs DHA and EPA, the omega-6 PUFAs LA and GLA, and several antioxidant vitamins including vitamin E (α-tocopherol) and γ-tocopherol in a high dose, can act protectively against functional deterioration of patients with a progressive disease such as RRMS.

Paper: High-dose ω-3 Fatty Acid Plus Vitamin D3 Supplementation Affects Clinical Symptoms and Metabolic Status of Patients with Multiple Sclerosis: A Randomized Controlled Clinical Trial.

Journal: Nutrients

Paper: Nadia Ghasemi Darestani et al, Association of Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid Intake on Inflammatory Gene Expression and Multiple Sclerosis: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

Journal: Nutrients. 2022 Nov 2;14(21):4627

Description: This study aimed to conduct a meta-analysis to evaluate the effect of omega-3 fatty acid intake on MS (based on the criteria of the Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS)) and inflammatory gene expression (IGE).

This meta-analysis of cohort studies, blood omega-3 FA concentrations were inversely related to inflammatory gene expression (IGE) and EDSS score, which indicates that they may hold great potential markers for the diagnosis, prognosis, and management of MS. However, further clinical trials are required to confirm the potential effects of the omega-3 FAs on MS disease management.

Paper: Seafood, fatty acid biosynthesis genes, and multiple sclerosis susceptibility, Annette Langer-Gould et al,

Journal: Multiple Sclerosis. 2020 Oct;26(12):1476-1485

Description: The study examined the association of fish and shrimp consumption and 13 tag single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in FADS1, FADS2, and ELOV2 with risk of MS in 1153 individuals from the MS Sunshine Study, a case-control study of incident MS or clinically isolated syndrome (CIS), recruited from Kaiser Permanente Southern California.

Conclusion: These findings suggest that omega-3 fatty acid intake may be an important modifiable risk factor for MS. This is consistent with the other known health benefits of fish consumption and complementary genetic studies supporting a key role for omega-3 regulation

Paper: The Effects of Omega-3 Supplementation on the Expanded Disability Status Scale and Inflammatory Cytokines in Multiple Sclerosis Patients: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Mohsen Sedighiyan et al,

Journal: CNS & Neurological Disorders Drug Targets. 2019;18(7):523-529

Description: The present systematic review and meta-analysis aimed to evaluate the effect of omega-3 supplementation on EDSS and cytokines in MS. Overall, omega-3 supplementation may not have a clinically considerable impact on EDSS or proinflammatory markers. However, the existing trials are limited in this context, and further clinical trials are required to confirm the potential effects of the omega-3 supplement on MS disease management.

Selected references extracted from the main book by Professor George Jelinek. The Diet section is covered on pages 71-147 of the book and includes a total of 150 scientific evidence-based research articles.

Paper: Swank RL, Dugan BB. Effect of low saturated fat diet in early and late cases of Multiple Sclerosis

JournalLancet. 1990;336(8706):37-39

Description: A population-based study by neurologist Professor Swank, followed PwMS for a period of 34 years. This study of a low saturated fat diet in treating MS reported dramatically better health outcomes for those sticking to the diet. 

Paper: Swank RL, Backer J. The geographic incidence of multiple sclerosis in Norway.

Journal: Trans Am Neuro Assoc. 1950;51:274-275

Description: Study showing that MS  was less common in coastal Norway where fish consumption was high, than in inland areas of Norway where people ate a lot of beef and dairy products

Paper: Harbige LS, Sharief MK. Polyunsaturated fatty acids in the pathogenesis and treatment of multiple sclerosis.

Journal: Br J Nutr. 2007;98 Suppl:S46-53

Description: A review in the British Journal of Nutrition concluded that epidemiological, biochemical, animal model and clinical trial data strongly suggest that polyunsaturated fatty acids have a role in the development and treatment of MS.

Paper: Gallai V, Sarchielli P, Trequattrini A, et al Cytokine secretio and eicosanoid production in the peripheral blood mononuclear cells of MS patients undergoing dietary supplementation with n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids.

JournalJ Neuroimmunol. 1995;56:143-153

Description: Study showing a marked decrease (in PwMS) in chemicals that promote inflammation after supplementation with fish oils

Paper: Flower RJ, Perretti M. Controlling inflammation: a fat chance?

Journal: J Exp Med. 2005;201(5):671-674

Description: Experimental Evidence for the benefits of fish oil in regulating inflammation.

Paper: Tetty P, Simpson S, Jr., Taylor B, et al An adverse lipid profile is associated with disability and progression in disability, in people with MS.

Journal: Mult Scler. 2014;20 (13): 1737-1744

Description: Research following a group of PwMS in southern Tasmania shows significantly less disability over time for people with better fat profiles in their blood. People with bad fat profile-generally associated with high animal fat consumption-had considerably more disease progression over the 2.5 years than those with a healthier lipid profile