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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. Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis, and there is currently no cure for MS. 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. An estimated 1 million people live with MS in the United States. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, and it affects women three times more than men.


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