Many people with multiple sclerosis (MS) modify their dietary intake, but there is low evidence that this influences MS disease activity or progression.
We examined whether indices of diet quality (Dietary Quality Tracker and Australian Recommended Food Score) were associated with depression, anxiety and fatigue using a prospective cohort.
The Auslong Study participants were followed annually for 10 years (n=223 with MS at 10 years). Depression & anxiety (Hospital Anxiety & Depression Scale, HADS) and fatigue (Fatigue Severity Scale) were assessed at the 5th and 10th-year reviews. Dietary intake in the preceding 12 months using the Cancer Council Victoria Food Frequency Questionnaire was assessed at the baseline, 5th and 10th year reviews.
Overall diet quality at the 5th-year review was not associated with a change in depression, anxiety or fatigue in the subsequent 5 years. However, a higher intake of protein, grain and discretionary foods at the 5th-year review using the Dietary Quality Tracker were associated with an increase in HADS depression score over the subsequent 5 years (e.g. highest vs lowest quartile protein: β=2.14,95%CI=0.91,3.37,p<0.001). Also, a higher legume intake at the 5th-year review was associated with a decrease in HADS anxiety score over the subsequent 5 years( e.g. highest vs lowest quartile: β=-1.92,95%CI=-3.32,-0.53,p=0.01).
Overall diet quality was not associated with a subsequent change in depression, anxiety or fatigue over 5-years but some specific food groups were associated with depression and anxiety. Replication is required before testing these findings with diet intervention programs in people with MS.