Researchers who set out to determine the association between dietary factors and MS in children have found that they consume less iron.
The study, “Dietary factors and paediatric multiple sclerosis: A case-control study”, published in the Multiple Sclerosis Journal, recruited paediatric MS patients and controls from 16 US centres. To qualify for the study these patients had to have displayed the onset of MS or clinically isolated syndrome before the age of 18, less than four years from symptom onset and have at least two silent lesions on MRI.
In total, 312 paediatric patients with MS (mean age of 15.1) and 456 controls (mean age of 14.4) were included in the study. These children or their parents were asked to complete a questionnaire on demographic information and medical history.
The analysis found no difference in intake of fats, proteins, carbohydrates, sugars, fruits, or vegetables. However, dietary iron was lower in paediatric patients with MS, who were also more likely to consume below the recommended guidelines for iron.
Researchers concluded that paediatric MS patients may be less likely to consume sufficient iron compared to controls, and this warrants broader study to characterise a temporal relationship. No other significant differences in intake of most dietary factors were found.