Women with multiple sclerosis (MS) have lower levels of five key nutrients, according to new research.
These nutrients - food folate, vitamin E, magnesium, lutein-zeaxanthin and quercetin - all have antioxidant or anti-inflammatory properties.
Researchers at Johns Hopkins University in the US studied 27 Caucasian women with MS, comparing them to 30 healthy Caucasian women between the ages of 18-60 and with body mass index of less than or equal to 30 kg per sq m.
Participants reported on their diet and nutrition over the course of a year before they started taking vitamin D supplementation.
Women with MS had an average food folate intake of 244 micrograms (mcg). This figure was 321 mcg for healthy individuals, while the recommended daily allowance is 400 mcg.
For magnesium, the women with MS had average intake of 254 milligrams (mg), while those without the condition had an average of 321 mg - just above the recommended daily allowance.
"Since MS is a chronic inflammatory disorder, having enough nutrients with anti-inflammatory properties may help prevent the disease or reduce the risk of attacks for those who already have MS," said study author Sandra Cassard.
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