Summary: A healthy diet with antioxidants and carotenoids is associated with better function in ALS, a new study reports.
Source: Columbia University.
A diet rich in antioxidants and carotenoids is linked with better outcomes for patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
New research at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health reveals that foods like fruits and vegetables that are high in antioxidant nutrients and carotenoids are associated with better function in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients around the time of diagnosis. This is among the first studies to evaluate diet in association with ALS function and the first to show that healthy nutrients and antioxidants are associated with better ALS functioning. The findings are published online in JAMA Neurology.
ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, is a severe neurodegenerative disorder that causes atrophy, paralysis, and eventually respiratory failure. Median survival for ALS patients ranges from 20 to 48 months, although 10 percent to 20 percent of patients can live longer than 10 years.
Jeri W. Nieves, PhD, associate professor of Epidemiology, and co-authors examined the links between nutritional intake and severity of ALS for patients who had ALS symptoms for 18 months or less. The study, which relied on nutrient intake reported using a food questionnaire, followed 302 participants recruited at 16 clinical centers throughout the U.S. The researchers used a validated measure of ALS severity and respiratory function.
“It appears that nutrition plays a role both in triggering the disease and why it progresses,” said Dr. Nieves. “For this reason, ALS patients should eat foods high in antioxidants and carotenes, as well as high fiber grains, fish, and poultry.”
The researchers also found that milk and lunch meats were associated with lower measures of function, or more severe disease. Two different statistical analyses by Dr. Nieves both indicate that diet may help minimize the severity of ALS and point to the role of oxidative stress in ALS severity.
“The foods and nutrients that may help reduce the severity of ALS are very similar to the recommendation to prevent many other chronic diseases,” noted Dr. Nieves.
“Our cross-sectional study relied on a food questionnaire and those may not always represent a true daily diet,” cautioned Dr. Nieves. “However, those responsible for nutritional care of the patient with ALS should consider promoting fruits and vegetables since they are high in antioxidants and carotenes. Future studies will look at follow-up-data on both dietary intake and progression of ALS.”
About this ALS research article
Co-authors are Pam Factor-Litvak of Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health; Jonathan Hupf, Jessica Singleton, Valerie Sharf, and Hiroshi Mitsumoto, all of the Department of Neurology, Columbia University; Chris Gennings, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai; Bjorn Oskarsson, University of California-Davis, Sacramento; Fernandes Filho, University of Nebraska Medical Center; Eric J. Sorenson, Mayo Clinic; Emanuele D’Amico, Neurological Institute, Catania, Italy; and Ray Goetz, Department of Psychiatry, New York State Psychiatric Institute.
Funding: The study was supported by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Institutes of Health (Grant R01ES016348). The paper has additional funding sources and also non-conflict of interest statements.
Source: Stephanie Berger – Columbia University Image Source: This NeuroscienceNews.com image is in the public domain. Original Research: Full open access research for “Association Between Dietary Intake and Function in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis” by Jeri W. Nieves, PhD; Chris Gennings, PhD; Pam Factor-Litvak, PhD; Jonathan Hupf, BA; Jessica Singleton, BA; Valerie Sharf, BS; Björn Oskarsson, MD; J. Americo M. Fernandes Filho, MD; Eric J. Sorenson, MD; Emanuele D’Amico, MD; Ray Goetz, PhD; Hiroshi Mitsumoto, MD, DSc; for the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Multicenter Cohort Study of Oxidative Stress (ALS COSMOS) Study Group in JAMA Neurology. Published online October 24 2016 doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2016.3401
Cite This NeuroscienceNews.com Article
[cbtabs][cbtab title=”MLA”]Columbia University. “New Theory Debunks Idea That Math Abilities Are Inate.” NeuroscienceNews. NeuroscienceNews, 1 November 2016. <https://neurosciencenews.com/fruit-veg-als-5403/>.[/cbtab][cbtab title=”APA”]Columbia University. (2016, November 1). New Theory Debunks Idea That Math Abilities Are Inate. NeuroscienceNews. Retrieved November 1, 2016 from https://neurosciencenews.com/fruit-veg-als-5403/[/cbtab][cbtab title=”Chicago”]Columbia University. “New Theory Debunks Idea That Math Abilities Are Inate.” https://neurosciencenews.com/fruit-veg-als-5403/ (accessed November 1, 2016).[/cbtab][/cbtabs]
Association Between Dietary Intake and Function in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
Importance There is growing interest in the role of nutrition in the pathogenesis and progression of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
Objective To evaluate the associations between nutrients, individually and in groups, and ALS function and respiratory function at diagnosis.
Design, Setting, and Participants A cross-sectional baseline analysis of the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Multicenter Cohort Study of Oxidative Stress study was conducted from March 14, 2008, to February 27, 2013, at 16 ALS clinics throughout the United States among 302 patients with ALS symptom duration of 18 months or less.
Exposures Nutrient intake, measured using a modified Block Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ).
Main Outcomes and Measures Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis function, measured using the ALS Functional Rating Scale–Revised (ALSFRS-R), and respiratory function, measured using percentage of predicted forced vital capacity (FVC).
Results Baseline data were available on 302 patients with ALS (median age, 63.2 years [interquartile range, 55.5-68.0 years]; 178 men and 124 women). Regression analysis of nutrients found that higher intakes of antioxidants and carotenes from vegetables were associated with higher ALSFRS-R scores or percentage FVC. Empirically weighted indices using the weighted quantile sum regression method of “good” micronutrients and “good” food groups were positively associated with ALSFRS-R scores (β [SE], 2.7 [0.69] and 2.9 [0.9], respectively) and percentage FVC (β [SE], 12.1 [2.8] and 11.5 [3.4], respectively) (all P < .001). Positive and significant associations with ALSFRS-R scores (β [SE], 1.5 [0.61]; P = .02) and percentage FVC (β [SE], 5.2 [2.2]; P = .02) for selected vitamins were found in exploratory analyses.
Conclusions and Relevance Antioxidants, carotenes, fruits, and vegetables were associated with higher ALS function at baseline by regression of nutrient indices and weighted quantile sum regression analysis. We also demonstrated the usefulness of the weighted quantile sum regression method in the evaluation of diet. Those responsible for nutritional care of the patient with ALS should consider promoting fruit and vegetable intake since they are high in antioxidants and carotenes.
“Association Between Dietary Intake and Function in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis” by Jeri W. Nieves, PhD; Chris Gennings, PhD; Pam Factor-Litvak, PhD; Jonathan Hupf, BA; Jessica Singleton, BA; Valerie Sharf, BS; Björn Oskarsson, MD; J. Americo M. Fernandes Filho, MD; Eric J. Sorenson, MD; Emanuele D’Amico, MD; Ray Goetz, PhD; Hiroshi Mitsumoto, MD, DSc; for the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Multicenter Cohort Study of Oxidative Stress (ALS COSMOS) Study Group in JAMA Neurology. Published online October 24 2016 doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2016.3401