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Can Fatty Acids in Foods Fight Multiple Sclerosis?

Dietary change might help treat some people with multiple sclerosis, new research suggests. According to a new study, the lack of a specific fatty acid in fat tissue can trigger the abnormal immune system response that causes multiple sclerosis (MS) by attacking and damaging the central nervous system. Fat tissue in patients diagnosed with MS lack normal levels of oleic acid, a monounsaturated fatty acid found at high levels in, for instance, cooking oils, meats (beef, chicken, and pork), cheese, nuts, sunflower seeds, eggs, pasta, milk, olives, and avocados, the researchers report in the Journal of Clinical Investigation. This lack of oleic acids leads to a loss of the metabolic sensors that activate the T cells that mediate the immune system’s response to infectious disease, the researchers found. Without the suppressing effects of these regulatory T cells, the immune system can attack healthy central nervous system cells and cause the vision loss, pain, …