The Mediterranean-dietary approaches to stop hypertension (DASH) intervention for neurodegenerative delay (MIND) diet such as green leafy vegetables, as well as its unhealthy components like butter and margarine, reduce the odds of multiple sclerosis (MS), a new study published in Neurology and Therapy found. On the other hand, pastries, sweets, cheese, poultry, and fried and fast foods increase the odds.

“It was learned from the study that encouraging individuals to follow a dietary pattern high in plant-based foods and low in animal-based/high in saturated fat foods, like the MIND diet, may be helpful in preventing multiple sclerosis,” the authors wrote.

The exact cause of MS is not known but it is thought that the disease develops as the result of genetic and environmental factors. Diet is one of the main environmental factors linked to MS and research has shown that the Mediterranean diet is associated with a lower risk of MS. The MIND diet is a combination of Mediterranean and DASH dietary patterns, which has been shown to have neuroprotective effects.

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In the present study, a team of researchers led by Soodeh Razeghi Jahromi, PhD, from the MS Research Center at Tehran University of Medical Sciences and Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences in Tehran, Iran evaluated the relationship between adherence to the MIND diet and MS.

The researchers recruited 77 people with relapsing-remitting MS and 148 healthy volunteers and asked them to complete a semiquantitative food frequency questionnaire to assess their dietary intake and MIND diet score. The results showed that there was a significant difference between both groups in terms of body mass index, total calorie intake as well as carbohydrate, animal-based protein, and fiber intake. 

The researchers reported that adherence to the MIND diet was associated with a reduced odds of MS. The odds of the disease were significantly lower in those consuming a diet rich in green leafy vegetables and other vegetables as well as butter, stick margarine, and beans.

On the contrary, the odds of MS were higher among people with the highest consumption of cheese, poultry, pastries, sweets, and fried and/or fast foods. The MIND diet seems to have protective effects against MS and pastries, sweets, cheese, poultry, and fried/fast foods have the opposite effect, the researchers concluded.


Noormohammadi M, Ghorbani Z, Naser Moghadasi A, et al. MIND diet adherence might be associated with a reduced odds of multiple sclerosis: results from a case-control study. Neurol Ther. Published online January 29, 2022. doi:10.1007/s40120-022-00325-z