Laboratories of Comparative Animal Medicine, Tokyo, Japan; Laboratory of Cooperative Major in Advanced Health Science, Graduate School of Bio-Applications and System Engineering, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, Tokyo, Japan.
Drinking water is an important nutrient for human health. The mineral ingredients included in drinking water may affect the physical condition of people. Various kinds of natural water are in circulation as bottled water in developed countries; however, its influence on clinical conditions of patients with certain diseases has not been fully evaluated. In this study, effects of the natural groundwater from Jeju Island on clinical symptoms and skin barrier function in atopic dermatitis (AD) were evaluated. NC/Tnd mice, a model for human AD, with moderate to severe dermatitis were used. Mice were given different natural groundwater or tap water for 8 weeks from 4 weeks of age. Clinical skin severity scores were recorded every week. Scratching analysis and measurement of transepidermal water loss were performed every other week. The pathological condition of the dorsal skin was evaluated histologically. Real-time polymerase chain reaction analysis was performed for cytokine expression in the affected skin. The epidermal hyperplasia and allergic inflammation were reduced in atopic mice supplied with Jeju groundwater when compared to those supplied with tap water or other kinds of natural groundwater. The increase in scratching behavior with the aggravation of clinical severity of dermatitis was favorably controlled. Moreover, transepidermal water loss that reflects skin barrier function was recovered. The early inflammation and hypersensitivity in the atopic skin was alleviated in mice supplied with Jeju groundwater, suggesting its profitable potential on the daily care of patients with skin troubles including AD.