Background & Objectives: Although the etiology of multiple sclerosis (MS) - a chronic autoimmune disease of the central nervous system – has not been well understood, the role of environmental factors, particularly the lack of vitamin D has recently been considered. Therefore, this study was aimed to compare the intake of food containing vitamin D between the MS patients and healthy individuals.
Materials and Methods: This case - control study was carried out on 168 MS patients randomly selected from MS Society of East Azerbaijan province in Tabriz and 168 age and sex - matched apparently healthy individuals from relatives of the MS subjects or healthy volunteers in December 2012 -March 2013. Data regarding the consumption of food containing vitamin D, were obtained through completing a semi quantitative food frequency questionnaire and face-to-face 3-day food records by a trained interviewer.
Results: Although the weekly frequency consumption of fat group did not show any significant differences between the groups, weekly frequency consumption of meat group, dairy products and miscellaneous foods such as hamburgers, bolognia, sausages, and fresh mushrooms in healthy volunteers were significantly higher than MS patients (P<0.05). Inadequate dietary vitamin D among the MS patients was approximately three-fold more common than healthy subjects (P=0.041).
Conclusion: Our findings indicate the inadequacy of consumption of vitamin D containing foods among MS patients which probably reveal the necessity of nutrition education and vitamin D supplementation in MS.