Research Article| Volume 56, 103237, November 2021

Dietary intake and characteristics in persons with multiple sclerosis

Published:September 08, 2021DOI:



      Despite growing interest in diet and dietary interventions in persons with multiple sclerosis (PwMS), few studies have examined dietary intake and characteristics within this population. The objectives of this study were to prospectively describe and compare nutrition assessment parameters related to the diet, including daily food intake, nutrient intake, eating behaviours, and other dietary characteristics (i.e., specific diets, food preparation, and food security) between PwMS and controls without multiple sclerosis (MS).


      This study used a cross-sectional design in 60 PwMS and 60 matched controls. All participants completed a 3-day food intake record and questionnaires. Dietary intake was analysed with and without supplements using ESHA Food Processor SQL. Differences in dietary intake by group and supplement intake were examined using mixed-model ANOVAs.


      There were differences in average daily micronutrient intake between groups for vitamins D, B12, and C, omega 3 fatty acids, and phosphorous. Through supplement use, PwMS consumed significantly more vitamin D, omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin B12, vitamin C, magnesium, manganese, and zinc than controls. There was no difference in dietary behaviours or other dietary characteristics between groups.


      Results suggest that dietary intake was similar in persons with and without MS. The few differences in dietary intake between groups were mostly accounted for by supplement intake in PwMS. Further studies are needed to continue exploring dietary intake in PwMS.


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