Saturday, November 14, 2009

The link between Diet and Immune systems

Tying the strands together Australian Scientists have now uncovered one of the main mechanisms linking fibre in diet to the immune system.

Diet And Intestinal Bacteria Linked To Healthier Immune Systems
"The notion that diet might have profound effects on immune responses or inflammatory diseases has never been taken that seriously" said Professor Mackay. "We believe that changes in diet, associated with western lifestyles, contribute to the increasing incidences of asthma, Type 1 diabetes and other autoimmune diseases. Now we have a new molecular mechanism that might explain how diet is affecting our immune systems."

"We're also now beginning to understand that from the moment you're born, it's incredibly important to be colonised by the right kinds of gut bacteria," added Kendle. "The kinds of foods you eat directly determine the levels of certain bacteria in your gut."

"Changing diets are changing the kinds of gut bacteria we have, as well as their by-products, particularly short chain fatty acids. If we have low amounts of dietary fibre, then we're going to have low levels of short chain fatty acids, which we have demonstrated are very important in the immune systems of mice."

Get Fat or Thin by growing Gut Bacteria

It's not just calories - calories in and calories out. It is the form of the calories and the digestive culture we build. This research will change the way we think of 'healthy' bacteria, and gives strength to the raw food movement.

The Gut Response To What We Eat : NPR
A high-fat, high-sugar diet can quickly and dramatically change the population of microbes living in the digestive tract, according to a new study of human gut bugs transplanted into mice.

Trillions of microbes live inside the human gut, and one of their functions is to process parts of foods that we can't digest on our own. Recent studies have suggested that certain populations of microbes may be associated with obesity.

"The energetic and nutrient value of food may not be an absolute term, but one that is modified in part by the microbes that live in our gut — who's there in this community, how they operate, and how they operate in relationship to what we are eating," says Jeffrey Gordon of Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Mo.

He and other scientists are eager to start doing experiments to see what happens if the gut populations are modified by changes in diet, antibiotics, or dietary supplements. To make such experiments possible, Gordon has been working with colleagues to take gut microbes from human feces and transplant them into the intestinal tracts of previously germ-free mice.

How Inflammation causes Fatigue

We have known anecdotally that inflammation causes fatigue, but now one of the underlying mechanisms has been explained in this article in Science Daily. More on how this relates to diet coming.

How Inflammatory Disease Causes Fatigue
ScienceDaily (Feb. 28, 2009) — New animal research in the February 18 issue of The Journal of Neuroscience may indicate how certain diseases make people feel so tired and listless. Although the brain is usually isolated from the immune system, the study suggests that certain behavioral changes suffered by those with chronic inflammatory diseases are caused by the infiltration of immune cells into the brain. The findings suggest possible new treatment avenues to improve patients' quality of life.