A high-calorie diet containing a large amount of carbohydrates helps to slow the development of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, an incurable disease that often leads to death of patients after an average of 3 years. This is discussed in an article published in the journal Lancet.
Lou Gehrig’s disease or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a serious incurable disease of the central nervous system, leading to paralysis and atrophy of the muscles, including those muscles that are responsible for the breathing process. Usually, patients after several years overtakes death by suffocation.
The development of the disease is accompanied by a loss of body fat and muscle mass, but those patients who, before getting sick, are obese, live longer after the onset of ALS. In a study conducted in 12 medical centers in different countries, experts decided to check how a high-calorie diet can affect the fate of patients.
A group of scientists led by Anne-Marie Wills of the Boston Community Hospital analyzed the medical history of 20 patients with ALS who were in the late stages of the disease – they did not swallow themselves and received food using a probe. Patients were divided into 3 subgroups. In the first group, patients adhered to a high-calorie diet with a high content of carbohydrates, in the second – diets with a large amount of fat, and the third was a control.
“None of the 9 patients from the first group died within 5 months from the start of the experiment, while 3 of 7 patients died from the control subgroup, and 1 of 8 from the second,” the article says. Moreover, in the first subgroup, the number of undesirable effects from the disease was much lower.
However, the authors note that the data obtained should be treated with caution, since this is only the second phase of the study in a relatively small group of patients.