A study led by the University of Bonn, published in the journal CELL shows that the immune system responds to a high fat and high calorie diet in a way similar to its response to a bacterial infection. In this study 120 mice were the subjects . They were placed on a “Western diet”, high in fat, high in sugar, and low in fiber for four weeks. Researcher Anette Christ, of the Institute of Innate Immunity explains,”The unhealthy diet led to an unexpected increase in the number of certain immune cells in the blood of the mice.”
When the researchers placed the mice back on their typical cereal of cereal for another four weeks, some of the acute inflammatory responses abated . However, what was particularly disturbing was that did not go away was the genetic reprogramming of immune cells, so that the immune system abnormalities that had been switched on during the fast food phase of the study still had abnormal activity, and these inflammatory responses can be a part of the development of vascular diseases or type 2 diabetes or other diseases. Underlying inflammatory responses are increasingly being viewed as the culprit for many if not most of modern society’s chronic diseases. Researcher Eicke Latz concludes…”These findings therefore have important societal relevance. The foundations of a healthy diet need to become a much more prominent part of education than they are at present.”
This study is yet another piece of scientific evidence that disease prevention begins with a proper diet.