WEDNESDAY, March 6, 2019 (HealthDay News) — For patients with relapsing and remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS), a flavonoid cocoa beverage can potentially improve fatigue and fatigability, according to a study published online March 4 in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry.

Shelly Coe, Ph.D., from Oxford Brookes University in the United Kingdom, and colleagues conducted a randomized double-blind feasibility study in people recently diagnosed with RRMS and fatigue. Forty participants consumed a high-flavonoid or low-flavonoid (control) cocoa beverage daily during a six-week intervention (19 and 21 participants, respectively). At three visits (weeks 0, 3, and 6), fatigue and fatigability were measured.

The researchers identified a small effect on fatigue (Quality of Life in Neurological Disorders: effect size, 0.04; 95 percent confidence interval, −0.40 to 0.48) and a moderate effect on fatigability (six-minute walk test: effect size, 0.45; 95 percent confidence interval, −0.18 to 1.07) for the intervention. Seven adverse events were identified (four control; three intervention), of which only one was possibly related to treatment.

“Our study establishes that the use of dietary interventions is feasible and may offer possible long-term benefits to support fatigue management, by improving fatigue and walking endurance,” the authors write.

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