Earlier this year I wrote a blog about the benefits of a Mediterranean diet – a big component of this being regular consumption of fish – for those with rheumatoid arthritis. Anyone concerned about their risk of multiple sclerosis will also be interested to hear about how a Mediterranean diet brings benefits.
Including fish in the diet regularly could make multiple sclerosis less likely due to an anti-inflammatory effect. Research indicates that even as little as 1-3 fish meals each month, combined with daily omega-3 supplements, can reduce the chances that a person develops multiple sclerosis. Omega-3s are the healthy fats found in fish.
When researchers compare people with high and low fish intake, clear differences emerge in terms of which of them later develops multiple sclerosis. High intake, for this research, was characterized as 1 serving of fish each week plus daily omega-3 supplements. Low intake meant no supplementation and less than 1 serving of fish per month.
The high fish intake group was found to have a 45% lower risk of multiple sclerosis (as well as the similar condition called clinically isolated syndrome).
This is a remarkable benefit from eating a diet that is a sound choice for overall health. In fact, I switched to a Mediterranean diet myself more than six months ago due to the heart-healthiness of it. It was an adjustment from my prior eating style, but it wasn’t long before it became my ‘new normal’ – I made the change for my heart, but it’s great to know that my joints and risk of MS will also benefit from this diet.
Fish with the highest level of omega-3s include salmon, sardines, lake trout, and albacore tuna. Omega-3s can be found in flaxseed and walnuts for those who don’t care for fish.
Press release. Eating fish may be tied to a reduced risk of MS. Am Acad Neur March 1, 2018.