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AAN: High Fish Intake Linked to Reduced Risk of Multiple Sclerosis

Last Updated: March 02, 2018.

High fish intake is associated with reduced risk of multiple sclerosis, according to a study scheduled for presentation at the upcoming annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology, to be held from April 21 to 27 in Los Angeles.

FRIDAY, March 2, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- High fish intake is associated with reduced risk of multiple sclerosis (MS), according to a study scheduled for presentation at the upcoming annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology, to be held from April 21 to 27 in Los Angeles.

Annette Langer-Gould, M.D., Ph.D., from Kaiser Permanente Southern California in Pasadena, and colleagues examined the correlation of fish consumption and 13 tag single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the fatty acid desaturase (FADS) gene cluster (FADS1, FADS2, and ELOV2) with the risk of MS among 1,153 individuals. High fish intake was defined as consuming fish once or more per week or eating one to three servings per month plus taking fish oil supplements.

The researchers found that, compared with consuming fish less than once per month and no supplements, high fish intake was correlated with a significantly reduced risk of MS/clinically isolated syndrome (adjusted odds ratio, 0.55). Even after adjustment for high fish intake, two tag SNPs, rs174611 and rs174618, in FADS2 were independently associated with a reduced risk of MS (adjusted odds ratios, 0.66 and 0.64, respectively).

"These analyses support a protective role of fish consumption and polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) biosynthesis on MS risk," the authors write. "Future studies to replicate our findings and determine whether this is mediated by the anti-inflammatory, metabolic, and/or neurological functions of PUFAs are needed."

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