In France, 100,000 people suffer from multiple sclerosis. This autoimmune disease affects the central nervous system, that is to say that the defense system races and attacks the protective sheath that surrounds the nerve fibers. A so-called young adult disease, it is most often diagnosed between the ages of 25 and 35 and is characterized by various symptoms (fatigue, walking disorders, concentration problems, etc.).
Currently, there is no treatment to cure the disease and some can improve the daily lives of patients. According to the findings of a new study conducted by yale university, the abnormal response of the immune system that causes multiple sclerosis can be triggered by the lack of a specific fatty acid in fatty tissue. This finding suggests that a diet change could help some people with this autoimmune disease. The findings of this study were published on January 19 in The Journal of Clinical Investigation.
According to this study, relayed by a press release released by Yale, adipose tissue in patients lack normal levels of oleic acid. This monounsaturated fatty acid is found at high levels in cooking oils, meats (beef, chicken and pork), cheese, nuts, sunflower seeds, eggs, pasta, milk, olives and ‘lawyer.
An attack on healthy cells
The team of scientists found that the lack of oleic acids leads to loss of metabolic sensors that activate T cells, which are involved in the immune system’s response to infectious diseases. Without the suppressive effects of these regulatory T cells, the immune system can attack healthy cells of the central nervous system and cause vision loss, pain, lack of coordination, etc. When researchers introduced oleic acids into the fatty tissues of MS patients in laboratory experiments, the levels of regulatory T cells increased.
“We have known for some time that genetics and environment play a role in the development of multiple sclerosis. This article suggests that one of the environmental factors involved is food“said lead authors David Hafler, William S. and Lois Stiles Edgerly, professor of neurology and professor of immunobiology and head of the department of neurology. Looking ahead, the authors say more studies are needed to determine whether a diet rich in oleic acid may help some patients with MS.