Impact of Dietary Intervention on Serum Neurofilament Light Chain in Multiple Sclerosis

Background and Objectives

Adapted ketogenic diet (AKD) and caloric restriction (CR) have been suggested as alternative therapeutic strategies for multiple sclerosis (MS), but information on their impact on neuroaxonal damage is lacking. Thus, we explored the impact of diets on serum neurofilament light chain (sNfL) levels in patients with relapsing-remitting MS.


We retrospectively evaluated a prospective randomized controlled trial of 60 patients with MS who were on a common diet or ketogenic diet or fasting. We examined sNfL levels of 40 participants at baseline and at the end of the study after 6 months using single molecule array assay.


sNfL levels were investigated in 9 controls, 14 participants on CR, and 17 participants on AKD. Correlation analysis showed an association of sNfL with age and disease duration; an association was also found between sNfL and the Multiple Sclerosis Functional Composite. AKD significantly reduced sNfL levels at 6 months compared with the common diet group (p = 0.001).


For clinical or study use, consider that AKD may incline sNfL levels independent of relapse activity up to 3 months after initiation. At 6 months, AKD, which complements current therapies, reduced sNfL levels, therefore suggesting potential neuroprotective effects in MS. A single cycle of seven-day fasting did not affect sNfL. AKD may be an addition to the armamentarium to help clinicians support patients with MS in a personalized manner with tailored diet strategies.

Trial Registration Information

Clinical trial registration number NCT01538355.

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