A Western diet rich in sugar and fat causes damage to Paneth cells – immune cells in the gut that help keep inflammation in check, a study shows.
When Paneth cells aren’t functioning properly, the gut immune system is prone to inflammation, putting people at risk of inflammatory bowel disease, say the authors, who performed studies of both humans and lab mice.
American and British diets in particular are high in sources of fat and sugar, from foods including butter, pastries, chocolate, confectionery, pizza, burgers and white bread.
The new study has been conducted by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and Cleveland Clinic, who warn of the spread of the Western diet.
‘Inflammatory bowel disease has historically been a problem primarily in Western countries such as the US, but it’s becoming more common globally as more and more people adopt Western lifestyles,’ said lead author Ta-Chiang Liu at Washington University.
‘Our research showed that long-term consumption of a Western-style diet high in fat and sugar impairs the function of immune cells in the gut in ways that could promote inflammatory bowel disease or increase the risk of intestinal infections.’
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SOURCE: Daily Mail