Rutgers University conducted a study that found that increasing fibre intake could slow the progression of Multiple Sclerosis (M.S.). The researchers did the study in mice they had genetically altered and concluded that a dietary change could improve the health of those with M.S.
The study expanded on previous findings that evaluated the correlation between the gut microbiome and MS. Researchers will now conduct their subsequent investigations on human subjects with M.S.
The western diet could contribute to M.S.
According to Kouichi Ito, the university’s associate neurology professor, there might be a link between the unhealthy western diet and the increased incidence of M.S. This is because the diet of the west, which is among the unhealthiest, consists of high levels of unsaturated fats and low fibre.
About 1 million adults in the U.S. have M.S. The disease occurs when the body’s immune system attacks the coveting of nerves in the eyes, spinal cord, and the Brian. Other studies have found a difference between the gut microbiome of people with M.S. to those without the disease. However, professor Ito explains that the studies observed many abnormalities. Thus, it is hard to know which particular ones cause the changes that cause M.S.
How researchers conducted the study
The team conducted a study on mice that they had genetically engineered with M.S. genes. They then traced the connection between the changes in the gut microbiome and experimental autoimmune encephalitis (EAE).
Researchers observed that the mice developed EAE as they grew. They also developed colitis which is a disease that presents with inflammation in the intestines. Furthermore, there was an increase in the neutrophils going to the colon and the production of lipocalin-2, an antimicrobial protein.
Afterwards, the researchers evaluated if these changes also occurred in M.S. They found the same response as there was lipocalin-2 present in the stool samples. Moreover, there was less biodiversity in the gut microbiome. They also observed the presence of inflammatory markers.
The team concluded that testing for lipocalin-2 could help scientists evaluate the presence of unhealthy gut organisms. They also found that a diet rich in fibre could lower the risk of M.S. as it presents gut inflammation.