According to a recent study presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 71st Annual Meeting in the US, people with multiple sclerosis (MS), who consume 290 calories of sugar-sweetened beverages or aerated soda, may be at an increased risk of severe symptoms. Multiple sclerosis is a progressive and degenerative disease in which the immune system attacks nerves, producing a variety of neurological symptoms.
For the study, the researchers looked at 135 people with multiple sclerosis, who were asked to complete a questionnaire about their diet. The team chose to study the DASH diet as it is associated with lower risk of other chronic diseases, like high blood pressure, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, said Meier-Gerdingh.
DASH diet limits the consumption of foods that are high in sugar and saturated fats. It stresses on consumption of low-fat dairy products, nuts, legumes, fruits and vegetables, whole grains etc.
"MS patients often want to know how diet and specific foods can affect the progression of their disease," said Elisa Meier-Gerdingh from St. Josef Hospital in Germany.
As per the findings of the study, the participants who consumed the largest amounts of sugar-sweetened beverages were five times more likely to have severe disability than people who seldom drank sugar-sweetened beverages and consume an average of seven calories of such drinks per day. In addition, a total of 30 participants had severe disability.
The study also noted that in order to evaluate whether consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages affects the course of the disease, additional studies are required.
With Inputs From IANS