Multiple Sclerosis Diet: Foods to Eat and Avoid

Last updated Oct. 17, 2022, by Marisa Wexler, MS

Fact-checked by Ines Martins, PhD

FAQs about MS and diet

While a number of diets have been developed for people with multiple sclerosis, there is no one diet that is considered best for the neurodegenerative condition. It’s recommended that patients work with their healthcare team to figure out a healthy diet plan that works for them.

Some dietary changes may be useful for managing specific symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS) — for example, getting enough fiber and fluids can help ease constipation, and staying hydrated while avoiding caffeine, alcohol, and fruit juices may help manage bladder problems. More generally, there is some evidence that symptoms of MS are generally less bothersome in people who eat a healthy and balanced diet, but there is no diet that is proven to reduce the severity of MS.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is caused by inflammation in the body that damages nerves in the brain and spinal cord. There is no cure for MS, and the disease cannot be reversed with any diet or lifestyle change, nor any available medication.

Fatty cuts of red meat and processed meats commonly contain high amounts of saturated fats, which have pro-inflammatory properties and have been associated with more severe disease in people with multiple sclerosis. It’s generally recommended that patients limit how much red meat they eat.

A few studies have indicated that intermittent fasting and other calorie-restricted diets may reduce markers of inflammation and reduce the severity of depression in people with multiple sclerosis (MS). But these diets may increase the risk of weight loss, poor bone health, and irregular menstrual periods. MS patients are advised to talk with their healthcare team before trying any new dietary plan.

Multiple Sclerosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

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