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Supplement may help autoimmune response



2007-05-16

Health News Editor

IRVINE, Calif., May 16 (UPI) A glucosamine-like supplement suppresses the damaging autoimmune response seen in multiple sclerosis and type 1 diabetes, a U.S. study has found.

In studies on mice, Dr. Michael Demetriou and colleagues at the University of California at Irvine found that N-acetylglucosamine, which is similar but more effective than the widely available glucosamine, inhibited the growth and function of abnormal T-cells that incorrectly direct the immune system to attack specific tissues in the body, such as brain myelin in MS and insulin-producing cells of the pancreas in diabetes.








The findings are published in the online version of the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

"This finding shows the potential of using a dietary supplement to help treat autoimmune diseases," Demetriou said in a statement. "Most importantly, we understand how this sugar-based supplement inhibits the cells that attack the body, making metabolic therapy a rational approach to prevent or treat these debilitating diseases."

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