Two supplements may lessen disability levels in MS by reducing triglycerides

A preliminary study from Spain has found that supplementing with coconut oil and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a component of green tea, leads to a significant reduction in triglyceride levels in people with multiple sclerosis (MS).

The study was published in the journal Foods and titles ‘Lipid Profile in Multiple Sclerosis: Functional Capacity and Therapeutic Potential of Its Regulation after Intervention with Epigallocatechin Gallate and Coconut Oil.’

Previous studies involving coconut oil and EGCG supplementation have reported improvements in functional capacity.

Elevated levels of fatty molecules, such as triglycerides, are commonly seen in MS patients and it’s possible they contribute to the progression of the disease.

The Spanish research team conducted a pilot clinical trial to explore whether supplementation with these two compounds, along with an anti-inflammatory diet, could enhance fatty metabolism and reduce disability in individuals with MS. The study involved 51 adults randomly assigned to either a supplement group receiving 60 mL of coconut oil and 800 mg of EGCG or a control group receiving placebos. All participants adhered to a Mediterranean-style diet consisting of five small meals per day, with 20% protein, 40% carbohydrates, and 40% healthy fats.

Previous results indicated significant functional improvements in the supplement group, including enhanced walking speed, endurance, and balance. Subsequently, the researchers examined the correlation between these improvements and lipid molecule levels.

The study revealed that despite a high consumption of fatty and sugary foods, abnormal lipid levels in MS patients appear to be inherent to the disease’s pathophysiological mechanism. While there were no significant differences between groups in most lipid measurements after the intervention, triglyceride levels saw a noteworthy reduction with the supplements.

Importantly, a strong association was found between lower triglyceride levels and less-severe disability, as measured by the Expanded Disability Status Scale. Other lipid measurements, such as total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL), low-density lipoprotein (LDL), and ApoA1, did not exhibit significant differences between the groups.

Supplementation with “EGCG and coconut oil improve the functional capacity of patients with MS. This improvement could be due to the treatment’s impact on reducing blood [triglyceride] levels,” the researchers wrote.

The researchers noted limitations, including the small number of participants and potential inaccuracies in self-reported nutrition. Despite these constraints, the study underscores the potential benefits of investigating lipid metabolism further to understand its role in the progression and prognosis of MS.