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October 1974

Multiple Sclerosis and Nutrition

Author Affiliations

From the Neurology Service, Veterans Administration Hospital (Drs. Alter and Yamoor) and the Epidemiology and Genetics Unit, Department of Neurology, University of Minnesota (Drs. Alter, Yamoor, and Ms. Harshe), Minneapolis.

Arch Neurol. 1974;31(4):267-272. doi:10.1001/archneur.1974.00490400081010

Demonstration of similarities in geographic distribution of multiple sclerosis (MS) and component of diet would strengthen a consideration that diet plays a causal role in MS. Prevalence of MS in many countries was correlated with average daily per capita consumption of fats and oils, protein, and calories, including calories of animal origin. Of these dietary factors, only calories of animal origin and fats and oils correlated significantly with MS prevalence. When the latter two were combined (animal-fats), a significant correlation with MS prevalence of.70 resulted, suggesting that increased consumption of animal-fat may be associated with MS.

Experimental and clinical observations relating diet to increased adhesiveness of formed blood elements, to biochemical alteration of central myelin, and to impaired delayed hypersensitivity are plausible mechanisms linking risk of MS to high animal-fat consumption.

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