By Serena Gordon
WEDNESDAY, Dec. 6, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- The old adage that "an apple a day keeps the doctor away" appears to be at least partly true for people living with multiple sclerosis (MS).
New research suggests that a healthy diet -- one that's chock-full of fruits, vegetables and whole grains but contains little added sugars and red or processed meats -- was associated with a reduced risk for disability.
The study also found that a healthy lifestyle was linked to less depression, fatigue and pain for people with MS. Living healthily means eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, maintaining a normal weight and not smoking.
"This is an important topic that's very much on the minds of my patients," said Dr. Claire Riley, medical director of the Multiple Sclerosis Center at New York Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center in New York City.
"While it's not proven that attaining these lifestyle factors will improve MS or its progression, the associations are there," said Riley, who was not part of the study. "I recommend patients prioritize abstinence from smoking and getting to a healthy weight. After that, eat as healthy a diet as one can organize and afford and try to exercise regularly." [read more]