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Int J MS Care. 2019 Jan-Feb;21(1):1-9. doi: 10.7224/1537-2073.2017-039.

Impact of Nutritional Intake on Function in People with Mild-to-Moderate Multiple Sclerosis.



We sought to assess the associations between nutrition and ambulation, daily activity, quality of life (QOL), and fatigue in individuals with mild-to-moderate disability with multiple sclerosis (MS).


This cross-sectional pilot study included 20 ambulatory adult volunteers with MS (14 women and 6 men; mean ± SD age, 57.9 ± 10.2 years; mean ± SD Expanded Disability Status Scale score = 4.1 ± 1.8). Primary outcome variables included dietary assessment and the 6-Minute Walk Test (6MWT). Secondary measures included the Timed 25-Foot Walk test, Timed Up and Go test, daily activity, and three self-report questionnaires: the 12-item Multiple Sclerosis Walking Scale, the 36-item Short Form Health Survey (SF-36), and the Modified Fatigue Impact Scale.


Significant correlations were seen between the percentage of diet comprising fats and the 6MWT (r = 0.51, P = .02) and the physical functioning component of the SF-36 (r = 0.47, P = .03). The percentage of carbohydrates was significantly correlated with the 6MWT (r = -0.43, P = .05), daily activity (r = -0.59, P = .005), and the physical functioning component of the SF-36 (r = -0.47, P = .03). Cholesterol, folate, iron, and magnesium were significantly positively correlated with the physical functioning component of the SF-36 and the 6MWT.


These findings indicate better ambulation, daily function, and QOL with increased fat intake, decreased carbohydrate intake, and increased intake of the micronutrients cholesterol, folate, iron, and magnesium in people with mild-to-moderate MS. This pilot study highlights the potential impact of diet on function and QOL in MS.


6-Minute Walk Test; Diet; Functional outcome measures; Multiple Sclerosis (MS); Nutrients; Nutrition; Physical activity; Quality of life

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