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Vitamin A Compound Could Fight Rheumatoid Arthritis

Research in mice suggests that a vitamin A derivative, retinoic acid, may fight autoimmune and inflammatory diseases such as colitis or rheumatoid arthritis, U.S. scientists say.

A team at the La Jolla Institute for Allergy & Immunology in California found that manipulating the amount of retinoic acid (a substance derived when vitamin A is broken down in the body) in the mice affected levels of pro-inflammatory T-cells.

These T-cells are a type of white blood cell that plays a role in several inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.

"We found that you can control inflammation in a living animal with retinoic acid or you can treat cells with retinoic acid in a test tube and transfer them to the organism to suppress inflammation," research leader Hilde Cheroutre said in a prepared statement.

The findings were published in the June 14 online issue of Science.

| Tags: Arthritis, Nutrition |

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