Ketogenic diet shows major benefits for MS patients at UVA Health

Published: Mar. 2, 2022 at 5:44 PM EST
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - A certain diet is showing incredible benefits for patients with multiple sclerosis at UVA Health.

Dr. Nick Brenton has been researching how a ketogenic diet helps people living with MS. He says it’s been reducing people’s fatigue, depression and improving their quality of life.

“It can also improve energy balance that as energy delivered to the brain in people with MS who may struggle with that. So there’s lots of theoretical ideas, but you know, honestly, scientists still don’t really know exactly all the ways in the kitchen, that diet works,” Brenton said.

Ketogenic diets cut carbohydrates and replaces them with healthy fats and protein. It’s popular for weight loss.

“Our group is the first group to look at using this diet in a relapsing-remitting MS patients to see first and foremost if it’s tolerable and if they can do it, but then also to look at the potential benefits that could come from using this diet in this population,” Brenton said.

More research needs to be done, Brenton is hopeful with these initial findings.

“There are currently no clinical trials that are really defined the use of a ketogenic diet,” Brenton said. “There’s a lot of work now looking at dietary interventions as a form or a complementary treatment for patients.”

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