Multiple sclerosis in women can lower food folate, vitamin E, and magnesium levels. A reduction in these vitamins and minerals can lead to serious health consequences, as they work as powerful antioxidants and contribute to overall good health.
The researchers looked at 27 Caucasian women with multiple sclerosis and compared them with 30 healthy women aged 18 to 60. Participants reported on their diet and nutrition over the previous year before they began taking vitamin D supplements.
On average, the multiple sclerosis women had lower levels of food folate, vitamin E, magnesium, lutein-zeaxanthin, and quercetin. Average intake of food folate among the multiple sclerosis women was 244 mcg, while the healthy women consumed 321 mcg, with recommended daily allowance being 400 mcg. Magnesium intake among the multiple sclerosis women was 254 mg, and the healthy women met the recommended daily allowance of 320 mg by consuming, on average, 321 mg.
Study author Sandra D. Cassard said, “Since MS is a chronic inflammatory disorder, having enough nutrients with anti-inflammatory properties may help prevent the disease or reduce the risk of attacks for those who already have MS. Antioxidants are also critical to good health and help reduce the effects of other types of damage that can occur on a cellular level and contribute to neurologic diseases like MS. Whether the nutritional differences that we identified in the study are a cause of MS or a result of having it is not yet clear.”
Healthy eating with multiple sclerosis (MS)
It’s especially important that multiple sclerosis patients eat well to ensure they receive adequate amounts of nutrients and antioxidants in order to reduce the risk of health complications. The key is to consume a balanced diet, which consists of protein, carbohydrates and sugar, fat, fiber, vitamins and minerals, and to intake adequate amount of fluids.
Consuming a balanced diet is important due to the numerous associated health benefits, as it’s been known to:
- Help to control weight
- Decrease fatigue
- Maintain regular bowel and bladder function
- Minimize the risk of skin problems
- Maintain bone health and strength
- Maintain healthy teeth and gums
- Boost heart health
- Improve muscle strength and range of motion
- Increase flexibility
- Reduce the risk of certain diseases and health conditions
In a balanced diet, you should receive the proper levels of essential vitamins and minerals. But if you aren’t, then supplementation may be something you may want to consider in order to boost your nutrient levels.
If you are a patient with multiple sclerosis and you are concerned about your diet, speak to your doctor or a dietician/nutritionist to ensure you are eating the proper foods and supplying your body with the essentials it needs.