New Study Links Mediterranean Diet With Reduced Multiple Sclerosis Disability Risks

Healthy Living Using Olive Oil

Link Between Health Benefits Of Mediterranean Diet For Those Living with MS

Mediterranean Diet And Multiple Sclerosis
Mediterranean Diet And Multiple Sclerosis

New research has shown that consuming The Mediterranean Diet regularly can be linked to improvements in MS-related symptoms and disability.

According to the study, published October 13 in Multiple Sclerosis Journal, People with multiple sclerosis who followed a Mediterranean diet were more likely to experience less disability than people who did not.

The findings, reviewed in an article on, add to the accumulating evidence that diet is important in MS, says the lead author, Ilana Katz Sand, MD, an associate professor of neurology at the Icahn School of Medicine and a neurologist at Mount Sinai in New York City.

“After rigorously controlling for demographic and health-related factors, we noted a significant association between Mediterranean diet score and objectively captured disability in people with MS,”

Ilana Katz Sand, MD

Speaking to Everydayhealth, Mary Rensel, MD, an assistant professor of medicine and the director of pediatric multiple sclerosis and wellness at the Mellen Center of the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, who was not part of the research, said:

“This study does help confirm what we’ve suspected from previous literature — that a person’s particular level of adherence to the Mediterranean diet seems to matter for outcomes of MS,”

Researchers have been studying diet and MS for decades, says Dr. Rensel. Although there’s been no single study (so far) that’s shown one nutritional pattern works for all people with MS, there’s evidence that nutritional intake and a healthy diet does matter as far as mood disorders, physical outcomes of MS, and how a person feels (quality of life) are concerned, she says.

Because of that, and because people with MS are very interested in how what they eat impacts their condition, this is a much-needed study, says Rensel.

The Mediterranean Diet And Extra Virgin Olive Oil

The Mediterranean diet uses a quality extra virgin olive oil as the primary healthy fat and promotes plenty of fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds, moderate amounts of fish and dairy products, and limited amounts of red and processed meats and sugar.

Mediterranean Diet Associated With Improved Overall Health in People With and Without MS

Researchers in this study chose to evaluate the Mediterranean diet in people with MS for several reasons. For starters, it’s associated with improved general health outcomes, including the prevention of cardiometabolic conditions that are already adversely linked with the course of the disease.

Some lab studies have also suggested that key components of the diet, including omega-3-fatty acids and antioxidant-containing foods, have potential neuroprotective benefits in MS.

In a randomized controlled pilot trial, published in the November 2019 Multiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders by the same team, a modified Mediterranean diet in MS showed promise: The people who stuck to the diet reported improvements in fatigue, impact of MS symptoms on everyday life, and stabilization of disability.

Full details of the study can be found here

Omega 3 Fatty Acids , The Mediterranean Diet And Multiple Sclerosis

The Mediterranean diet is a way of eating that focuses on whole foods and a plentiful amount of good fats. This includes fruits, vegetables and whole grains daily, while including fish, low-fat dairy, eggs and poultry in your meals just a few times per week.

Fish and seafood should be your primary sources of protein on the Mediterranean diet. You can have fish at least two times a week. Salmon is a particularly beneficial type of fish because not only is it high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, but it’s also rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s are a type of polyunsaturated fat that reduce inflammation throughout your body. They can help reduce your blood pressure, improve your cholesterol levels, reduce your risk of blood clots, make your immune system work better and protect your heart. For optimal health, you should aim for 800 to 1,000 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids each day, states the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Just three ounces of salmon provide as much as 1,500 milligrams of omega-3s.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

The most beneficial omega-3 fats occur naturally in oily fish in the form of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). These fatty acids are thought to contribute to healthy brain function, the heart, joints and general well-being. The idea that eating fish may reduce the risk of heart disease began in the 1970s and 1980s when it was noted that among the Inuits in Arctic Greenland (where high consumption of marine animals was the normal diet), heart disease was very low. In addition to heart disease, scientists are now investigating the role that fish consumption may have in protecting us against some cancers as well as many chronic diseases including Alzheimer’s disease , asthma, depression, diabetes, high blood pressure, macular degeneration, multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Omega-3 Fatty Acid Rich Recipe Idea

Omega 3, Mediterranean Diet And Multiple Sclerosis
Omega 3, Mediterranean Diet And Multiple Sclerosis

Tempted to up your intake of omega-3 fatty acids but need some quick kitchen inspiration? Why not check out this Broiled Salmon, Lemon and Olive Oil Recipe from Morocco Gold?