Investigating the Impact of a Low-Fat Diet on Quality of Life and Symptom Management in MS: Vijayshree Yadav, MD, MCR, FANA, FAAN


The professor of neurology at Oregon Health & Science University talked about a study on a modified low-fat diet intervention and its effects on fatigue in patients with multiple sclerosis over a 16-week period at CMSC 2023. [WATCH TIME: 8 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 8 minutes

"One of the points that people were raising was that if you lose weight, you automatically start to feel better. So, is it the weight loss that is causing this impact? Or is it something more than just the weight? This study shows that the weight may not be as critical but diet composition is more important. We have a lot more studies that we need for understanding the mechanism of what changes the entire metabolism."

One of the most common and disabling symptoms patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) experience is fatigue.1 Recently, there is a growing interest in dietary intervention research for improving fatigue since there is minimal risk for adverse events and a significant potential for improving body mass index, insulin resistance, and lipid profile. In recent news, results from a randomized, controlled study of patients with relapsing MS on a low-fat diet showed significant effects on fatigue over a 12-week period.

The findings were presented in a platform session at the 2023 Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers (CMSC) Annual Meeting, held May 31 to June 3, in Aurora, Colorado, presented by senior author Vijayshree Yadav, MD, MCR, FANA, FAAN, professor of neurology at Oregon Health & Science University.1 The study included 39 patients that were randomly assigned to a low-fat diet (n = 20) or wait-list diet (n = 19), or control, for 14 weeks. The diet group had 1 to 2 weeks of nutrition counseling and strict adherence to a low-fat diet for 12 weeks. Between the 2 groups, the diet group had a higher mean age (52 [±10] years vs 47 [±13]) and a higher mean Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) score (4.2 [±1.3] vs 3.4 [±1.4]). Fatigue Severity Scale (FSS), another major outcome, was decreased by 0.41 (95% CI, –1.18 to 0.36) in those on the low-fat diet in relation to controls.

At CMSC 2023, Vadav sat down in an interview with NeurologyLive® to discuss the primary outcomes that were assessed in the intervention study for patients with MS. She also talked about the changes that were made to the low-fat diet intervention compared to previous studies, and how they aimed to improve adherence. In addition, she spoke about the other aspects, aside from fatigue, that were investigated in the study, and other notable findings.

Click here for more coverage of CMSC 2023.

1. Chase E, Lane MA, Srikanth P, et al. Randomized, controlled trial of low-fat diet for fatigue in multiple sclerosis. Presented at: 2023 CMSC Annual Meeting; held May 31-June 3; Aurora, CO. Abstract DMX02

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