High fat diet increases inflammation in the mouse colon

Nov 12, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- In mice fed a diet high in fat and low in fiber, vitamin D and calcium -- the so-called Western diet -- expression of a series of genes collectively associated with immune and inflammatory responses was altered. The findings show that a Western diet induces oxidative stress and alters immune responses in the colon of mice long before tumors occur.

Colorectal , the third most common type of cancer worldwide, has been linked to an increased prevalence of the Western diet: one high in fat and low in fiber, and calcium. Now, a team of scientists led by researchers at Rockefeller University have shown what happens to colon tissue when mice are fed such a diet: an that could be the trigger for carcinogenic processes. Their results are published in the November 2009 issue of The .

“There is convincing evidence that increased intake of , processed meat and alcohol can increase risk of colorectal cancer, whereas greater consumption of dietary fiber, milk and calcium might decrease risk,” says Peter Holt, a senior research associate in the Laboratory of Biochemical Genetics and Metabolism at Rockefeller. “Our findings show that a Western diet induces oxidative stress and alters immune responses in the colon of mice long before tumors occur.”

The researchers fed experimental mice either a standard diet containing five percent fat and ample amounts of calcium and vitamin D or a Western diet containing 20 percent fat and adequate but marginal levels of calcium and vitamin D for three or six months.

As expected, animals consuming the Western diet were heavier and had more fat tissue than those on the control diet. Microarray analysis identified 41 genes that were being expressed at significantly different levels between the Western diet and control animals. Most of these genes were related to metabolic processes such as and glutathione metabolism, which is important for preventing damage caused by oxidation. In addition, expression of a series of genes collectively associated with immune and inflammatory responses was altered. The Western diet also increased the number of macrophages, cells associated with inflammation in the colon, as well as several proteins such as myeloperoxidase and MCP-1 and colonic oxidative stress genes associated with inflammation.

Taken together, Holt says, these data suggest that macrophage recruitment and oxidative stress is a potential early mechanism underlying the carcinogenic effect of the Western diet.

More information: The Journal of Nutrition 139(11): 2072-2078 (November 1, 2009) Western-Style Diets Induce Oxidative Stress and Dysregulate Immune Responses in the Colon in a Mouse Model of Sporadic Colon Cancer; Ildiko Erdelyi, Natasha Levenkova, Elaine Y. Lin, John T. Pinto, Martin Lipkin, Fred W. Quimby and Peter R. Holt

Provided by Rockefeller University (news : web)

Explore further: More than one-third of kids in England are overweight/obese

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

A low-carb diet may stunt prostate tumor growth

Nov 13, 2007

A diet low in carbohydrates may help stunt the growth of prostate tumors, according to a new study led by Duke Prostate Center researchers. The study, in mice, suggests that a reduction in insulin production possibly caused ...

A high-fat diet could promote the development of Alzheimer's

Oct 28, 2008

A team of Université Laval researchers has shown that the main neurological markers for Alzheimer's disease are exacerbated in the brains of mice fed a diet rich in animal fat and poor in omega-3s. Details of the study—which ...

Recommended for you

Unique EarlyBird study set for historic third phase

15 minutes ago

A unique study which has followed 300 young people from age five since 2000, has received backing for a third phase which will see it become the first study of its kind in the world to track the same group ...

Singapore launches universal health insurance

2 hours ago

Singapore's parliament has enacted a universal health insurance scheme with nearly $3.0 billion in subsidies to help the elderly and lower-income people, as it responds to demands for better social safety nets.

Some doctors won't see patients with anti-vaccine views

14 hours ago

With California gripped by a measles outbreak, Dr. Charles Goodman posted a clear notice in his waiting room and on Facebook: His practice will no longer see children whose parents won't get them vaccinated.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.