Junk food as harmful to the body as a life-threatening disease, study claims

By on January 15, 2018


Junk food as harmful to the body as a life-threatening disease, study claims

Junk food as harmful to the body as a life-threatening disease, study claims

Eliza Cracknell bodyandsoul.com.au

Diets laden with fat and sugar are sending our immune systems into meltdown.

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According to a new study, indulging in pizza and fries can be as harmful on the body as catching a life-threatening disease.

Scientists at the University of Bonn, in Germany, have discovered that fast food can cause the immune system to act as if it’s being attacked by a serious infection. Tests showed that diets high in fat, sugar and sodium makes immune cells more aggressive over time, which increases the risk of developing a chronic health condition.

What’s more is that the harm caused by junk food lasts long after you switch to a healthy diet, rich in fruit and vegetables.

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“It has only recently been discovered the innate immune system has a form of memory,” researcher Professor Eicke Latz said. “After an infection, the body's defences remain in a kind of alarm state, so they can respond more quickly to a new attack.”

For the study, researchers conducted experiments on mice and humans. Mice were given Western-style diets that were high in fat and sugar, and low in fibre. They found food caused the mice to develop a strong inflammatory response through their body.

“The unhealthy diet led to an unexpected increase in the number of certain immune cells in the blood of the mice, especially granulocytes and monocytes,” said lab member Dr Anette Christ.

“This was an indication for an involvement of immune cell progenitors in the bone marrow.”

Researchers believe this could explain the link between fast food and the hardening of arteries.

They think the inflammatory messengers causes the immune cells to migrate to alternated blood vessel walls. When they get too large they can then burst, leading to clots and an increase in heart attacks and strokes.



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