Curing MS (in EAE mice) with Glucosamine

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Curing MS (in EAE mice) with Glucosamine

Postby Squeakycat » Fri Sep 30, 2011 12:31 pm

Glucosamine-like supplement suppresses multiple sclerosis attacks

UCI study shows promise of metabolic therapy for autoimmune diseases

Irvine, Calif., Sept. 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.

About the University of California, Irvine: Founded in 1965, UCI is a top-ranked university dedicated to research, scholarship and community service. Led by Chancellor Michael Drake since 2005, UCI is among the most dynamic campuses in the University of California system, with nearly 28,000 undergraduate and graduate students, 1,100 faculty and 9,000 staff. Orange County's largest employer, UCI contributes an annual economic impact of $4.2 billion. For more UCI news, visit

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The paper is available here.
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Re: Curing MS (in EAE mice) with Glucosamine

Postby lyndacarol » Fri Sep 30, 2011 8:13 pm

As stated, this N-acetylglucosamine is sugar-based. In my unscientific mind, these results fit perfectly with hyperinsulinemia (too much insulin) as a primary player in MS.

If blood sugar goes below 40 mg/DL, a hypoglycemic coma may result (this is also referred to as insulin shock) – it is the result of excess insulin driving down the blood sugar level. At its extreme, this is a serious condition and requires prompt treatment. Symptoms include weakness, pounding heartbeat, chills, variable urination, drooling. In the early development of the condition of chronic hyperinsulinemia, which ultimately leads to type II diabetes when insulin resistance develops, the blood sugar appears normal only because of excess insulin. Insulin shock is usually associated with errors in the use of injectable insulin, severe hypoglycemia, not "normal" hyperinsulinemia.

Diabetic shock (hyperglycemia) is marked by excess glucose (above 150 mg/DL); symptoms include weakness excessive urination, great thirst, hunger, dry mouth, high urine glucose among others. This is a life-threatening condition requiring prompt treatment.

The treatments for these two completely different coma states are diametrically opposite – the proper treatment for one may prove fatal to the other.

In the case of insulin shock (low blood sugar and excess insulin) the accepted treatment is glucose tablets (or candy or anything that quickly elevates blood sugar). I suspect that the N-acetyl glucosamine is acting as glucose tablets, tying up the excess insulin which transports the glucose, but then causing the blood sugar to crash again. A meal of protein and fats can stabilize the "roller coaster" of blood sugar and insulin.

In the case of diabetic shock, insulin must be administered to handle the high glucose level. (This reaction occurs most often in people who are insulin-dependent, i.e., have NO or little insulin.)

The summer that I enjoyed a treat from Dairy Queen almost every day probably served the same purpose. And I did temporarily feel better after the sweet treat.
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Re: Curing MS (in EAE mice) with Glucosamine

Postby Squeakycat » Tue Oct 04, 2011 2:31 am

I'm not sure what to make of this, but the same researchers appear to have published an almost identical study 4 years ago in the same journal. This from Science Daily:

Glucosamine-Like Supplement Inhibits Multiple Sclerosis, Type 1 Diabetes
ScienceDaily (May 14, 2007) — A glucosamine-like dietary supplement has been found to suppress the damaging autoimmune response seen in multiple sclerosis and type 1 diabetes mellitus, according to University of California, Irvine health sciences researchers.

In studies on mice, Dr. Michael Demetriou and colleagues with the UC Irvine Center for Immunology found that N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc), 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. Study results appear on the online version of the Journal of Biological Chemistry. ... 132448.htm

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Re: Curing MS (in EAE mice) with Glucosamine

Postby MSBOB » Sat Mar 03, 2012 11:40 pm

NAG has been receiving good attention. I read one article on how it affects gene switches, along with vitamin d. Very promising for some of the population that may be in this group of msers. The problem is, how do you know?
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