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article imageALS patients and low calorie diet Special

By Khalid Magram     Apr 11, 2010 in Health
Toronto - Researchers from Canada say low calorie diets are detrimental to ALS patients. The latest study on ALS, better known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, found cutting calorie drastically accelerates the onset and progression, as well as death.
More than 2,500 Canadians currently live with ALS, a progressive degeneration of the nerve cells that result in severe muscle weakness.
"(Healthcare professional) need to ensure that patients with ALS, or those with a family history of ALS, should not go on any weight loss diet," said Dr. Mazen Hamadeh, a York University researcher. "But maintain healthy eating lifestyles,"
Emphasis must go towards nourishment when it comes to caring and improving the lives of ALS patients and those predisposed to ALS, Hamadeh added.
The study,;jsessionid=8B75E2C5EDAF0D89194860D2850CDC69?articleURI=info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0009386
which is published in PLOS one, an online peer-reviewed publication confirmed findings from two studies previously conducted involving the same mice model of ALS.
The first study looked at a long-term caloric restriction effects on mice. Caloric restriction had devastating effects. The second study looked at a 15 days caloric restriction. This study showed short-term caloric restriction was damaging to males, but not female.
Research had shown restricting calories can extend lifespan in animals. Therefore, researchers were baffled to find during an earlier study with the same animal model of ALS that it actually hastened the clinical onset of the disease.
“In our mouse model of ALS, caloric restriction did not show the benefits, neither phenotypically nor molecularly that are usually observed with other non-ALS animals,” Hamadeh concluded.
Most people with Lou Gehrig’s die from respiratory failure, usually within three to five years from the onset of symptoms.
However, about 10 percent of patients survive for 10 or more years.
“Funding is extremely important to maintain and continue with these groundbreaking scientific studies that are used for healthcare professional to improve the lives of patients with ALS,” Hamadeh said.
Lou Gehrig, a baseball player with the New York Yankees, succumbed to ALS at the age of 37.
“There is indication in the literature that patients with ALS who are not in optimal nutrition status fare worse than those who have optimal nutrition,” Hamadeh said. “So, our study confirms this in our mouse model,”
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