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May 2009 Issue

Multiple Sclerosis Diet Still an Elusive Goal

In the late 1980s, Roy L. Swank, M.D., Ph.D., proposed a diet for MS, sparking a bestseller. More recently, The MS Recovery Diet (Avery Press, 2007) has made a splash. Both diets advise limiting saturated fats while increasing polyunsaturated fats. Swank’s diet singles out omega-3 fats as beneficial. And it makes sense that omega-3s, a type of polyunsaturated fat, might be beneficial because their actions are anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive. In fact, one study found that a very low-fat diet (15% of calories), supplemented with omega-3s, provided moderate benefit to people with the type of MS that flares up and remits over time.

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