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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

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Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system. There is currently no cure for MS. Symptoms vary from person to person and range from numbness and tingling, to mobility challenges, blindness and paralysis. An estimated 1 million people live with MS in the United States. Most people are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, and it affects women three times more than men.

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