A study has shown a significant correlation between the intake of saturated fatty acids and disability and fatigue in MS patients.
The study consisted of 126 patients diagnosed with MS (84 RRMS, 21 PPMS and 21 SPMS) who were recruited with MRI assessment of the brain and spinal cord from an MS clinic in Kashani Hospital of Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, in Iran. All participants were assessed using a 168-item semi-quantitive food frequency questionnaire to assess dietary intakes of fatty acids, a medical history questionnaire, the expanded disability status scale (EDSS) and a fatigue questionnaire.
The average EDSS and fatigue scale in the SPMS and PPMS groups was significantly higher than the RRMS group. There was a significant correlation between intakes of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) including linolenic acid and linoleic acid with EDSS in all participants. In addition, there was a significant negative correlation between intakes of mono unsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) with EDSS in all participants.
Correlation between saturated fatty acids (SFAs) with EDSS and fatigue scale was significantly positive in all participants. Although correlation between total dietary fats with EDSS and fatigue scale in all participants and subgroups were positive, but not significant. Age, gender and blood pressure were not confounder variables. In addition, the researchers adjusted energy intakes in subgroups.
Researchers concluded that the study demonstrated that there is a positive significant correlation between intakes of SFAs with EDSS and fatigue scale in all participants. In addition dietary intakes PUFAs and MUFAs can decrease EDSS in all patients with MS. However, they did feel that further studies with larger sample sizes and other populations are needed to prove this correlation.