Eating a ketogenic diet — one low in carbohydrates and high in fats — led to less fatigue and depression for people with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) in a small clinical trial that was designed to assess the tolerability of the dietary intervention.
Measures of disability and quality of life also improved during the study while participants were eating a ketogenic diet. Overall, these results support future research to explore the effectiveness of the ketogenic diet in multiple sclerosis (MS), though researchers stressed there is not yet enough evidence to recommend this diet for MS patients outside of closely monitored clinical trials.
Results of the trial were presented at the 2022 annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology. Full data are now reported in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, in the “Phase II study of ketogenic diets in relapsing multiple sclerosis: safety, tolerability and potential clinical benefits.”
The Phase 2 trial (NCT03718247), which was sponsored by the University of Virginia, included 64 people with RRMS. Two of the participants were teenagers (ages 15 and 17); the rest were adults. The majority of participants were female and white. During the trial, participants were instructed to eat a ketogenic diet for six months.
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