A study of dietary modification: Perceptions and attitudes of patients with multiple sclerosis

Mult Scler Relat Disord. 2016 Jul;8:54-7. doi: 10.1016/j.msard.2016.04.009. Epub 2016 Apr 27.


Background: Modifiable risk factors for multiple sclerosis (MS), including obesity and the gut microbiome, have been studied and have been found to be potentially relevant. Given this, there is a growing interest in diet modification as a means of impacting MS risk and disease course.

Objectives: The aim of this study was to determine the current behaviors, level of interest, and relevant factors surrounding modification of diet in MS patients.

Methods: A total of 601 MS patients were mailed a dietary modification survey containing questions regarding subject demographics, disease course, and diet-related questions.

Results: Of the 199 survey responders, 17% admitted to currently attempting a diet for their MS and 91.5% were interested in diet modification as a means of benefiting their disease. Willingness to attempt diet therapy was not affected by demographic features or an individual's disease course. Over 85% of these patients were willing to attempt diet therapy for 3 months or longer.

Conclusions: The majority of survey responders expressed interest in diet modification in attempts to improve or treat their MS. Our data demonstrate the feasibility of patient recruitment for future studies assessing therapeutic intervention by way of diet modification for MS disease.

Keywords: Autoimmune; Diet; Multiple sclerosis; Obesity.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cohort Studies
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Sclerosis / diet therapy*
  • Multiple Sclerosis / epidemiology*
  • Multiple Sclerosis / psychology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult