Can a diet which increases inflammation lead to progression in MS?

In MS, certain molecules found in some foods might be triggering the immune system, which is also called inflammation. The Dietary Inflammatory Index (DII) is a measure of how likely a person's diet is to trigger the immune system. The more of these molecules a diet contains, the more likely it is to cause an immune response.

But, we don't understand how it might affect progression. So we don't know what impact an inflammatory diet has on MS.

About the project

The researchers will use information collected through the UK MS Register. Participants completed diet questionnaires in 2016 and 2022. The team will score the diets of people with MS using the DII. 

Then, they'll combine this information with clinical health data from the same people. From the clinical information they’ll particularly look at relapse rate, disability, fatigue, depression, anxiety, and quality of life. So, they’ll be able to see if an increased inflammatory diet (as indicated by the DII) correlates with progression outcomes.

How will it help people with MS?

If the information in the MS Register shows there is a correlation between DII and progression, then it links an inflammatory diet with progression of MS more strongly. This would need further investigation before doctors could advise people with MS. But, in the future this research could lead to understanding how people living with MS could change their diet to slow progression.