Dairy and gluten in disease activity in multiple sclerosis

Mult Scler J Exp Transl Clin. 2023 Dec 19;9(4):20552173231218107. doi: 10.1177/20552173231218107. eCollection 2023 Oct-Dec.

Abstract

Background: Many diets promoted specifically for multiple sclerosis have been suggested to improve disease activity. Dairy and gluten are two components for which the recommendations vary between these diets. Existing research into the association between these dietary components and disease activity has been conflicting.

Objective: To explore the relationship between dairy and gluten intake and disease activity in multiple sclerosis over a 2-year period, using no evidence of disease activity (NEDA) 3 status.

Methods: 186 participants' dairy and gluten intake was retrospectively estimated over 2 years using a dairy and gluten dietary screener. Estimated dairy and gluten intake was compared to disease activity, indicated by no evidence of disease activity 3 status, and quality of life, assessed by the Multiple Sclerosis International Quality of Life (MusiQoL) questionnaire.

Results: No significant association was found between mean estimated dairy or gluten intake and NEDA 3 status (p = 0.15 and 0.60, respectively). Furthermore, there was no significant relationship between dairy or gluten intake and MusiQoL) scores (p = 0.11 and 0.51, respectively).

Conclusion: Whilst we cannot rule out modest benefits due to our small sample size, we found that neither dairy nor gluten intake was associated with disease activity or quality of life in this study.

Keywords: Multiple Sclerosis International Quality of Life; Multiple sclerosis; dairy; diet; disease activity; gluten; no evidence of disease activity 3; quality of life.