Theory[edit | edit source]
Increasing evidence shows that chronic fatigue caused by many different physical illnesses is linked to chronic low-level inflammation in the body. Raised levels of inflammatory substances and inflammation in areas of the body have also been found in ME/CFS patients, including neuroinflammation. Anti-inflammatory diets aim to reduce the level of inflammation in the hope that this will reduce systems, particularly to reduce fatigue.
Types[edit | edit source]
- Single-nutrient: focused on increasing levels of particular nutrients, eg the fatty acids omega 3 fatty acid, EPA and DHA, Vitamin A, Vitamin D, magnesium, D-ribose, or polyunsaturated fatty acids
- Anti-inflammatory food diets: focused on including an increased amount of certain foods believed to have anti-inflammatory effects or using supplements, eg probiotics, ginseng (Korean/panax or radix ginseng), ginger (zingiber officinale), and plant polyphenols
- The DASH diet
- fatigue reduction diet
- Leaky gut diet
- Mediterranean diet
- Nordic diet
- Plant-based diets
- Whole-grain diet and Whole foods plant-based diet (WFPB)
Evidence[edit | edit source]
ME/CFS cannot be diagnosed if a person is suffering from malnutrition, vitamin or mineral deficiencies, so medical tests must rule these out before diagnosis, and it is highly unlikely that ME/CFS would be cured by a change of diet.
In ME/CFS a number of studies have shown the presence of inflammation including neuroinflammation.
However, no particular diet is recommended for ME/CFS beyond a healthy, balanced diet and there is a lack of clinical trials to establish the effects and potential harms of various different anti-inflammatory diets on patients with ME/CFS.
Clinicians[edit | edit source]
Risks and safety[edit | edit source]
- People with ME/CFS often develop food intolerances, so any diet would need to be adapted for this
- A lack of clinical trials and a lack of expert ME/CFS clinicians advising on anti-inflammatory diets mean that potential benefits and risks are largely unknown.
- An internet-based study found that many people seek dietary information online, especially for ME/CFS, multiple chemical sensitivity, and rheumatoid arthritis, but those who self-reported improvements as a result of altering their diet were more likely to report improvements related to other illnesses rather than ME/CFS. Feeling more refreshed after sleep was mentioned by many, although these were for a variety of different diets and it is not clear how many ME/CFS patients experienced this. Many patients did report improvements in many irritable bowel syndrome symptoms, and IBS is common in ME/CFS.
Costs and availability[edit | edit source]
Readily available. Some diets may be expensive, eg if they suggest only organic foods or gluten-free foods are used.
Notable studies[edit | edit source]
- 2016, A systematic review of probiotic interventions for gastrointestinal symptoms and irritable bowel syndrome in chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME) - (Abstract)
- 2017, Dietary and nutrition interventions for the therapeutic treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis: a systematic review - (Full text)
- 2017, Role of dietary modification in alleviating chronic fatigue syndrome symptoms: a systematic review - (Full text)
- 2018, Whole grain diet reduces systemic inflammation - (Full text)
- 2019, Anti-Inflammatory Diets and Fatigue - (Full text)
- 2019, Inflammatory proteins are altered in chronic fatigue syndrome–a systematic review and meta-analysis - (Full text)
- 2020, Inflaming Public Interest: A Qualitative Study of Adult Learners’ Perceptions on Nutrition and Inflammation - (Full text)
See also[edit | edit source]
- Healthy, balanced diet
- DASH diet
- Fatigue reduction diet
- Leaky gut diet
- Mediterranean diet
- Nordic diet
- Plant-based diet
Learn more[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- Haß, Ulrike; Herpich, Catrin; Norman, Kristina (September 30, 2019). "Anti-Inflammatory Diets and Fatigue". Nutrients. 11 (10): 2315. doi:10.3390/nu11102315. ISSN 2072-6643. PMC 6835556. PMID 31574939.
- Strawbridge, Rebecca; Sartor, Maria-Laura; Scott, Fraser; Cleare, Anthony J. (December 1, 2019). "Inflammatory proteins are altered in chronic fatigue syndrome—A systematic review and meta-analysis". Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews. 107: 69–83. doi:10.1016/j.neubiorev.2019.08.011. ISSN 0149-7634.
- "DASH Eating Plan". National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute | National Institutes of Health. Retrieved December 29, 2021.
- Cowan, Stephanie; Sood, Surbhi; Truby, Helen; Dordevic, Aimee; Adamski, Melissa; Gibson, Simone (January 28, 2020). "Inflaming Public Interest: A Qualitative Study of Adult Learners' Perceptions on Nutrition and Inflammation". Nutrients. 12 (2): 345. doi:10.3390/nu12020345. ISSN 2072-6643. PMC 7071230. PMID 32012994.
- Jones, Kathryn; Probst, Yasmine (2017). "Role of dietary modification in alleviating chronic fatigue syndrome symptoms: a systematic review". Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health. 41 (4): 338–344. doi:10.1111/1753-6405.12670. ISSN 1753-6405.
- Xu, Yujie; Wan, Qianyi; Feng, Jinhua; Du, Liang; Li, Ka; Zhou, Yong (October 26, 2018). "Whole grain diet reduces systemic inflammation". Medicine. 97 (43): e12995. doi:10.1097/MD.0000000000012995. ISSN 0025-7974. PMC 6221555. PMID 30412134.
- Carruthers, BM; van de Sande, MI; De Meirleir, KL; Klimas, NG; Broderick, G; Mitchell, T; Staines, D; Powles, ACP; Speight, N; Vallings, R; Bateman, L; Bell, DS; Carlo-Stella, N; Chia, J; Darragh, A; Gerken, A; Jo, D; Lewis, DP; Light, AR; Light, KC; Marshall-Gradisnik, S; McLaren-Howard, J; Mena, I; Miwa, K; Murovska, M; Stevens, SR (2012), Myalgic encephalomyelitis: Adult & Paediatric: International Consensus Primer for Medical Practitioners (PDF), ISBN 978-0-9739335-3-6
- Carruthers, Bruce M.; Jain, Anil Kumar; De Meirleir, Kenny L.; Peterson, Daniel L.; Klimas, Nancy G.; Lerner, A. Martin; Bested, Alison C.; Flor-Henry, Pierre; Joshi, Pradip; Powles, A C Peter; Sherkey, Jeffrey A.; van de Sande, Marjorie I. (2003). "Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Clinical Working Case Definition, Diagnostic and Treatment Protocols" (PDF). Journal of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. 11 (2): 7-115. doi:10.1300/J092v11n01_02.
- Corbitt, Matthew; Campagnolo, N.; Staines, D.; Marshall-Gradisnik, S. (September 1, 2018). "A Systematic Review of Probiotic Interventions for Gastrointestinal Symptoms and Irritable Bowel Syndrome in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME)". Probiotics and Antimicrobial Proteins. 10 (3): 466–477. doi:10.1007/s12602-018-9397-8. ISSN 1867-1314.
- Campagnolo, N.; Johnston, S.; Collatz, A.; Staines, D.; Marshall-Gradisnik, S. (2017). "Dietary and nutrition interventions for the therapeutic treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis: a systematic review". Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics. 30 (3): 247–259. doi:10.1111/jhn.12435. ISSN 1365-277X. PMC 5434800. PMID 28111818.