How diet affect brain health?

In this video Natalie interviews Professor Dawn Langdon who is a Neuropsychologist. The interview was filmed by

Video transcript

Natalie: Does diet affect brain health? If so, what can be a good diet for an MSer to keep cognitive function tip on top?

Professor Dawn Langdon, Neuropsychologist: Well, I think that there’s kind of two schools of thought about diet. So one school of thought is the kind of scientific, where’s the evidence, what do we know, school of thought and I’m going to talk about that first. And that school of thought is really all the dietary evidence for good health in MS, brain health in MS, preserving cognitive function, preserving other function, is just about having the healthy diet that everybody knows, which I don’t even need to go through. But if anyone wants to check it up, you know, NHS England’s got pages and pages on that. Some people with MS, some groups, feel very strongly that there are particular diets which are particularly helpful for people with MS and that might be an additive, or it might be a particular pattern of eating, a particular sort of profile selection of items. And what I would say about that is if there’s no evidence, okay, obviously I’m from the scientific camp, which you can decide whether that’s a good one or not, if there’s no evidence, I would say, set yourself the target, have the criterion that the diet you’re adopting is at least a healthy one. So maybe check with a nutritionist or, you know, so that you’re not eating in such a way that you’re depriving yourself of stuff that actually your body and your cells need. So it’s a bit boring, I’m afraid.

Natalie: So just to confirm from what you’ve said, would you suggest for someone who was wanting to try a diet perhaps it would be best to speak to their neurologist or an MS nurse just to clarify and speak to them before they completely made a change to this diet?

Professor Dawn Langdon: Yeah, I think, you know, common sense approach. If it’s something which, you know, if you show your friends, they say, well that doesn’t look right, living on that for a year, you know, if that’s the sort of common sense approach, then I would say get some advice and just first of all see whether it is a healthy diet or not. If it’s not, make the choice about whether you want to do it or not, but be informed. My advice would be, don’t do it. And maybe, if you speak to someone else they can find a way of making that diet a healthy diet that still include the things that you want to try or that you feel very convinced by that other people have argued have been very helpful for them. But anything in extreme is likely to be unhelpful because you’ve got to keep everything going optimally to get the best possible function and brain health that you can.

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