According to a study published in JAMA Neurology, certain foods appeared to be associated with better amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) function at baseline. 

Jeri W. Nieves, PhD, from Columbia University, New York, and colleagues examined data from a study of ALS progression to look at relationships between nutritional intake, function, and respiratory function at baseline for patients who had ALS symptoms for 18 months or less. The analysis included 302 patients with ALS who were given a modified Block Food Frequency Questionnaire to assess nutrient intake. The ALS Functional Rating Scale-Revised (ALSFRS-R) scores were used to measure function and the percentage of predicted force vital capacity (FVC) was used to measure respiratory function. 

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The study authors found that consuming antioxidant nutrients, foods high in carotenoids, fruits, and vegetables was associated with better ALS function at baseline in terms of ALSFRS-R scores and FVC percentage (P<0.001). Also, exploratory analyses found positive and significant associations between ALSFRS-R scores (P=0.02) and FVC percentage (P=0.02) for selected vitamins

Dr. Nieves noted that the study results do not establish cause and effect. Since the study was based on a food questionnaire, the authors noted results may not always reflect a true daily diet. 

Individuals who are responsible for nutritional care in ALS patients should consider encouraging intake of fruits and vegetables since they have high antioxidant and carotene levels.

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