Fatty food can weaken the immune system

Dec 08, 2009

Fresh evidence that fatty food is bad for our health has come to light: mice fed a lard-based diet over a long period got worse at fighting bacteria in the blood, reveals a thesis from the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg.

The fed the lard-based diet derived 60 per cent of their total calories from fat. They were compared with mice fed a low-fat diet, where no more than ten per cent of their calories came from fat. As expected, the mice on the high-fat diet got fatter. A more surprising result was that their was less active. The white blood cells got worse at dealing with bacteria in the blood, which could have contributed to many dying of sepsis.

" is usually associated with that does not result from an infection, which simply means that the immune defences are activated unnecessarily," says doctoral student Louise Strandberg who wrote the thesis. "Ironically, the mice on the high-fat diet seem to have a less active immune system when they really need it."

Fat people are also at a greater risk of aquiring infection, for example in connection with an operation. In mice, the thesis shows that it is fatty food rather than obesity in itself which affects the ability to fight off sepsis caused by bacteria.

Strandberg has also investigated different variants of three genes that are important for the immune system and noted that several of the gene variants that strengthen immunity also result in less obesity.

"So there are all kinds of links between the immune system on the one hand and obesity and on the other," says Strandberg.

Source: University of Gothenburg (news : web)

Explore further: Oil-swishing craze: Snake oil or all-purpose remedy?

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Purple pigments and obesity

Feb 11, 2008

Scientists in Arkansas are reporting new evidence that natural pigments responsible for the beautiful blue/purple/reddish color of certain fruits and vegetables may help prevent obesity. Their animal study, ...

Scientists reveal key enzyme in fat absorption

Mar 16, 2009

Scientists at the Gladstone Institutes of Cardiovascular Disease (GICD) have found that a key enzyme involved in absorbing fat may also be a key to reducing it. The enzyme, acyl CoA: monoacylglycerol acyltransferase 2 or ...

Recommended for you

Suddenly health insurance is not for sale

Apr 18, 2014

(HealthDay)— Darlene Tucker, an independent insurance broker in Scotts Hill, Tenn., says health insurers in her area aren't selling policies year-round anymore.

Study: Half of jailed NYC youths have brain injury (Update)

Apr 18, 2014

About half of all 16- to 18-year-olds coming into New York City's jails say they had a traumatic brain injury before being incarcerated, most caused by assaults, according to a new study that's the latest in a growing body ...

Autonomy and relationships among 'good life' goals

Apr 18, 2014

Young adults with Down syndrome have a strong desire to be self-sufficient by living independently and having a job, according to a study into the meaning of wellbeing among young people affected by the disorder.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Filipino tests negative for Middle East virus

A Filipino nurse who tested positive for the Middle East virus has been found free of infection in a subsequent examination after he returned home, Philippine health officials said Saturday.

Study says we're over the hill at 24

(Medical Xpress)—It's a hard pill to swallow, but if you're over 24 years of age you've already reached your peak in terms of your cognitive motor performance, according to a new Simon Fraser University study.

NASA's space station Robonaut finally getting legs

Robonaut, the first out-of-this-world humanoid, is finally getting its space legs. For three years, Robonaut has had to manage from the waist up. This new pair of legs means the experimental robot—now stuck ...

Ex-Apple chief plans mobile phone for India

Former Apple chief executive John Sculley, whose marketing skills helped bring the personal computer to desktops worldwide, says he plans to launch a mobile phone in India to exploit its still largely untapped ...

Egypt archaeologists find ancient writer's tomb

Egypt's minister of antiquities says a team of Spanish archaeologists has discovered two tombs in the southern part of the country, one of them belonging to a writer and containing a trove of artifacts including reed pens ...

Airbnb rental site raises $450 mn

Online lodging listings website Airbnb inked a $450 million funding deal with investors led by TPG, a source close to the matter said Friday.