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Poor Diet Linked to Multiple Sclerosis Relapse in Children

Fatty diets increase the risk of multiple sclerosis (MS) relapses in children, according to a study published online in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, & Psychiatry. Researchers tracked dietary intake data and assessed relapse rates for 219 participants with pediatric relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) at 11 MS centers across the United States.

Higher fat intake increased the risk for relapse by 56 percent while every 10 percent increase in saturated fat intake tripled the risk of relapse. Vegetable intake showed a protective effect, with a 50 percent decreased risk for every one- cup of vegetables consumed. Saturated fat, notably from animal sources, often increases calorie intake and promotes inflammation linked to MS relapse. The authors suggest dietary interventions promote vegetable intake to decrease inflammation and promote healthy gut microbiota associated with lower relapse rates.

Steele CB, Thomas CC, Henley SJ, et al. Vital Signs: trends in incidence of cancers associated with overweight and obesity — United States, 2005–2014. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. Published online October 3, 2017.