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In Brief: Mineral oil and arthritis

This article was originally published in The Rose Sheet

Executive Summary

Mineral oil and arthritis: Swedish researchers speculate that mineral oil in commercial cosmetics products retains its known immunological adjuvant effect, contributing to immune-stimulated reactions such as rheumatoid arthritis. B. Sverdup and L. Klareskog, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden, and S. Kleianu, Uppsala Sweden University Hospital, suggest that "while we have as yet no empirical evidence that mineral oils or other nonimmunogenic adjuvants have any proarthritogenic activity in humans," there are only a few studies that have been conducted "that would have allowed any such conclusions to be drawn." Therefore, they conclude, mineral-oil based skin care products warrant further testing to see if such products may induce arthritis with normal use. Sverdup et al. based their conclusions on a small-scale rat study of a breed susceptible to rheumatoid arthritis treated with a European baby oil product (Natusan) on abraded skin that resulted in the development of arthritis, according to a study published in the January issue of the NIEHS' Environmental Health Perspectives. The researchers also injected the baby oil and seven other cosmetics products containing mineral oil into the rats and found baby oil, a skin cream and two body lotions "induced" polyarthritis in the rats...
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