Dietary fatty acids and susceptibility to multiple sclerosis

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January 8, 2018 (Multiple Sclerosis Journal)

It is well-known that certain dietary food intakes and the gut microbiome function as environmental contributors to the development of multiple sclerosis (MS). The goal of the study in this article was to review the recent discoveries of the effects of both dietary short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) and long-chain fatty acids (LCFAs) on T-cell immunity, especially in the gut and the microbiome as linking diet and T-cell responses during the disease process of MS.

LCFAs have been shown to allow for pro-inflammatory responses while SCFAs promote an anti-inflammatory environment by their induction of Treg cells, or cells that prevent autoimmune disease. With the recent data on saturated fatty acids and the gut, it is possible that modifications in the gut microbiome and its metabolism could be potential treatment targets for autoimmune diseases like MS.  This could be achieved by the proper amount of intakes of certain types of dietary fibers that support the production SCFA bacteria which will in turn, transform pathogenic cells into disease-suppressing cells.

Read the full study here.