calorie-restricted diet which mimics the effects of fasting may reverse the symptoms of multiple sclerosis and help repair the damage caused by the disease.
Scientists are so excited about the finding that they are moving to large human trials and are already recommending it for very ill patients ‘who cannot wait.’ The regime simply involves cutting normal calorie counts in half for three days in every seven.
Although it is unclear what causes MS, it is thought the immune system attacks the protective coating on nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, leading to inflammation and pain, disability and in severe cases, death.
But scientists from the University of Southern California showed that, in mice, the Fasting Mimicking Diet (FMD) significantly lowered the percentage of damaging immune cells, while allowing the protective coating to regrow.
Human MS patients who were put on the diet to check that it was not harmful to their health, also reported improved quality of life and scored better on the Extended Disability Status Scale (EDSS) which assesses movement, tremors, speech and swallowing.
Prof Walter Longo, the study’s lead author and professor who directs the USC Longevity Institute said: “The effect on humans was improvements for both quality of life and EDSS, which is remarkable because we only did a single cycle of the FMD for humans and tested them three and six months after. “Since the pilot human trial was small, now we are setting up a large multi-center clinical trial. However, because we have already tested this and similar diets on hundreds of patients with various diseases, I believe this can be tried now by MS patients who cannot wait.” #mssociety #multiplesclerosis #nationalmssociety #calories #diet