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ALS – Dietary Strategy

November 17, 2021


People with ALS struggle to maintain a healthy weight. As a result, their weakness gets worse and they have shorter lifespans. Dietary strategies play a significant role in keeping them as strong as possible, alleviating their symptoms, improving their metabolism and prolonging their life. Implementing a high calorie diet can slow the progression of their disease and improve their quality of life. Studies have shown that a high fat diet can reduce the risk of developing ALS by at least 34% and potentially delay the onset of disease. The ketogenic diet has been considered as one type of high fat diet for ALS patients, which uses ketone bodies as the main source of energy, instead of carbohydrates and glucose. Not only has the ketogenic diet been found to increase total body weight, but it also seems to restore motor neurons in the spinal cord, which are usually lost as part of the ALS disease process. The Mediterranean diet – which is high in fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, fish, unsaturated fats, and olive oil – reduces the risk of degeneration. Not only does it reduce the injury and death of nerve cells, but it also has been shown to increase motor performance. A gluten-free diet can be beneficial for people with ALS who have gluten sensitivity and supplements that are antioxidants and reduce glutamate hyperexcitability as well as vitamins can also help slow the progression of ALS and improve the person’s quality of life. When it comes to treating someone with ALS, it isn’t just medication or diet, but the two can be used together to ameliorate symptoms, increase strength, slow down disease progression, and to give the person the best chance of feeling comfortable and enjoying their life.

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