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Sugar Linked to Disease Worsening in Mouse Models of MS and Crohn’s Disease

August 28, 2019

Researchers from the National Institutes of Health report that disease worsened in mouse models of MS and Crohn’s disease when mice were given sugary water, compared with mice given regular water. The experiments indicate that sugar triggered activation of the immune messenger protein TGF-beta, which in turn spurred on the production of immune cells known to promote inflammation. Blocking TGF-beta stopped production of the harmful cells.

Further studies are necessary to confirm these findings in the lab and in people, and to determine whether they can be translated into a dietary strategy for helping to manage MS.

Read more from the NIH

Read the paper in Immunity

About Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body. Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted, but advances in research and treatment are leading to better understanding and moving us closer to a world free of MS. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, with at least two to three times more women than men being diagnosed with the disease. MS affects more than 2.3 million people worldwide.


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