Monday, October 3, 2011

Study Reveals MS Vitamin for reducing attacks in Multiple Sclerosis

This MS vitamin sounds promising, according to a more recent study, for helping to reduce attacks in Multiple Sclerosis.

Glucosamine-Like Supplement Suppresses Multiple Sclerosis Attacks, Study Suggests 

ScienceDaily (Sep. 30, 2011) — A glucosamine-like dietary supplement suppresses the damaging autoimmune response seen in multiple sclerosis, according to a UC Irvine study. 

UCI's Dr. Michael Demetriou, Ani Grigorian and others found that oral N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc), which is similar to but more effective than the widely available glucosamine, inhibited the growth and function of abnormal T-cells that in MS incorrectly direct the immune system to attack and break down central nervous system tissue that insulates nerves. 

Study results appear online in the Journal of Biological Chemistry. 

Earlier this year, Demetriou and colleagues discovered that environmental and inherited risk factors associated with MS -- previously poorly understood and not known to be connected -- converge to affect how specific sugars are added to proteins regulating the disease. 

"This sugar-based supplement corrects a genetic defect that induces cells to attack the body in MS," said Demetriou, associate professor of neurology and microbiology & molecular genetics, "making metabolic therapy a rational approach that differs significantly from currently available treatments." 

Virtually all proteins on the surface of cells, including immune cells such as T-cells, are modified by complex sugar molecules of variable sizes and composition. Recent studies have linked changes in these sugars to T-cell hyperactivity and autoimmune disease. 

In mouse models of MS-like autoimmune disease, Demetriou and his team found that GlcNAc given orally to those with leg weakness suppressed T-cell hyperactivity and autoimmune response by increasing sugar modifications to the T-cell proteins, thereby reversing the progression to paralysis. 

The study comes on the heels of others showing the potential of GlcNAc in humans. One reported that eight of 12 children with treatment-resistant autoimmune inflammatory bowel disease improved significantly after two years of GlcNAc therapy. No serious adverse side effects were noted. 

"Together, these findings identify metabolic therapy using dietary supplements such as GlcNAc as a possible treatment for autoimmune diseases," said Demetriou, associate director of UCI's Multiple Sclerosis Research Center. "Excitement about this strategy stems from the novel mechanism for affecting T-cell function and autoimmunity -- the targeting of a molecular defect promoting disease -- and its availability and simplicity." 

He cautioned that more human studies are required to assess the full potential of the approach. GlcNAc supplements are available over the counter and differ from commercially popular glucosamine. People who purchase GlcNAc should consult with their doctors before use. 

Lindsey Araujo and Dylan Place of UCI and Nandita N. Naidu and Biswa Choudhury of UC San Diego also participated in the research, which was funded by the National Institutes of Health and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. 

If all goes well, time with tell if this turns out to be something that can help more people with Multiple Sclerosis for reducing the number and frequency of attacks, but this may still be worth considering at a future date.


Anne said...

Very exciting and encouraging news! I was looking up Dr. D after a recommendation from a friend and found your site. Thank you for sharing :)

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Anonymous said...

she looks like kym kardashian-she is a scientist??????

Kevin Headen said...

Vitamin D may have alot of value. however I think that there is alot of misleading, misinformation like all people with MS end up in a wheelchair, unable to do their daily needs. People with MS have very hard symptoms and many do not have mobility problems. There is alot of benefit to taking MS drugs that prevent or slow the progression of MS. And I also find it hard to believe that Vitamin D causes cancer cells to self-destruct. since I do think Vitamin D has some benefits. thank you for your post said...
This comment has been removed by the author. said...

I agree that there is a lot of misleading information floating around about vitamin D, other supplements and natural remedies, but vitamin D, natural remedies and other supplements can go a long way in helping to reduce many of the more severe symptoms found in many cases of Multiple Sclerosis. In my opinion, most drugs don't help much at all with improving the life style of most MS patients, but instead often causes major side effects that make everything worse without many benefits resulting from all the torture that MS patients are put through with injections, etc. That is my experience with Multiple Sclerosis.

I have found that with my own case of MS, that I have many vitamin and other deficiencies, which taking drugs hasn't helped correct at all. There are many methods for correcting these type of deficiencies, and which ones work better for you can vary, based on how well you metabolize and absorb things and depending on which method is used for getting the vitamin or other nutrient into your system (by mouth, IV or by absorbing it under the tongue or by spreading it on the skin).

I have found remedies and other methods that are helping me to improve by reducing my symptoms and improve how well my body functions, so that I am able to do more over a shorter period of time. Natural and alternative ways are not a quick fix by any means, but if they can help me and others to find relief and to function better with MS, and maybe even to reverse many of the effects of MS, then they are worth considering, as far as I am concerned. I just want other people with MS to find relief too.