N-Acetylglucosamine Inhibits Multiple Sclerosis, Type 1 Diabetes


A glucosamine-like dietary supplement, N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc), has been found to suppress the damaging autoimmune response observed in multiple sclerosis and type 1 diabetes mellitus.

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.

Together with a recent study on the use of GlcNAc in the treatment of treatment-resistant autoimmune inflammatory bowel disease, these findings point to the use of metabolic therapy using dietary supplements such as GlcNAc for treating autoimmune diseases.


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