Multiple sclerosis: what is this food additive capable of limiting inflammation?

Un nouveau bienfait de la gomme de guar.

According to a study conducted by the University of British Columbia, diets rich in guar gum, a food additive, delay the onset of symptoms of multiple sclerosis and limit inflammation.

The rapid increase in autoimmune and inflammatory diseases in industrialized countries over the past few decades shows that diet plays a role in their incidence,” said Dr. Lisa Osborne, assistant professor at the University of British Columbia ( Canada). The results indicate that one of the dietary fibers, also used as a food additive, could calm inflammation in the case of multiple sclerosis, at least in mice.

On the same subject

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease of the central nervous system that leads to neuronal demyelination and neurodegeneration. In those affected, the symptoms of MS are vast and varied (motor disorders, balance, concentration problems, sight problems, etc.) and often appear in the form of flare-ups, with periods of remission. “Diets that include increased dietary fiber intake are common in people with multiple sclerosis,” adds Dr. Osborne, who investigated whether a diet enriched with soluble fermentable fiber could help reduce inflammation and alleviate patient autoimmunity.

A food additive used as a thickener

For this study, which has just been published in the journal Cell reports, the Canadian researchers therefore exposed mice to different diets: a control diet with 5% cellulose fiber, a diet totally devoid of dietary fiber and enriched diets. with 30% fiber (inulin, pectin, resistant starch or guar gum). The conclusions show that guar gum is the only one capable of reducing inflammation and limiting the number of MS flare-ups. Often used as a thickener in food preparations (it is what hides behind the name E 412), guar gum comes from a kind of bean whose seeds are ground.

“The data from the study demonstrate specificity in the use of fermentable fibers, with immunomodulatory effects that could be exploited to target inflammatory disorders” concludes the doctor.

Source : Inhibition of Th1 activation and differentiation by dietary guar gum ameliorates experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitisCell reports, September 2022

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