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Nutrition and diet in the clinical management of multiple sclerosis

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For many years, medical interest in the relationship between nutrition and multiple sclerosis (MS) has focused largely on aetiology and the influence of dietary fat on the rate and severity of disease. While the cause of MS remains unknown and the influence of dietary fat is unclear, recent studies on antioxidant intake and oxidative stress in MS are strengthening the rationale in support of a healthy eating regime following diagnosis.

Dietary intake in MS and the influence of advanced disease on nutritional status are less well researched and documented. Both obesity and malnutrition may occur with detrimental consequences to functional abilities. Cognitive difficulties, dysphagia and the side-effects of drug treatment may further contribute to deterioration in nutritional status.

This paper aims to provide a practical overview of dietary management in MS. It reviews the available evidence relating nutrition to MS and discusses dietary management, with particular emphasis on the identification and alleviation of factors affecting nutritional status.
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Keywords: antioxidants; diet; malnutrition; multiple sclerosis; nutrition; obesity

Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: 01 October 2001

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