Background: Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic inflammatory and demyelinating disease
of the central nervous system, characterized by progressive neurological dysfunction and recurrent
multifocal exacerbations of neurological signs and symptoms. Infiltration of autoreactive
lymphocytes and macrophages into the brain parenchyma produces excessive release of reactive
oxygen species (ROS), reactive nitrogen species (RNS) and pro-inflammatory cytokines, which
creates an elevated oxidative stress in multiple sclerosis patients.
Method: A literature search was performed using the PubMed database from 2000 to July 2017.
Results: Oxidative stress severely damages the oligodendrocytes and contributes to axonal
degeneration. Recent clinical studies suggest the beneficial role of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids
(PUFAs) and melatonin dietary supplementation in MS pathogenesis. Particularly, dietary
supplementation with eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) significantly
reduces serum markers of oxidative stress and inflammation in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis.
Melatonin also shows beneficial immunomodulatory and antioxidant effects on MS.
Conclusion: Dietary intake of PUFAs and melatonin could also be considered as adjuvant treatments
for that clinical course of relapsing-recurrent multiple sclerosis. Further studies focusing on the role
of endocannabinoids derived from PUFA´s in MS are needed.