Tuesday, December 29, 2015
Bacterial molecules aggravate the risk of chronic diseases! Pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) are bacterial products that accumulate in processed and refrigerated foods. A study has indicated that the consumption of such foods may modulate the immune system so as to accentuate the risk of chronic diseases.
The experimental study was conducted by Dr Clett Erridge from the University of Leicester's Department of Cardiovascular Sciences. Eleven healthy human volunteers were consecutively fed with low PAMP and PAMP rich diets for a week. After each intervention period, LDL cholesterol and white blood cell count was analysed along with recording body weight and waist circumference.
The study results indicated that consumption of low PAMP diet resulted in 18% decrease in LDL cholesterol and an 11% reduction in white blood cell count. The average body weight and waist circumference reduced by 0.6kg and 1.5 cm, respectively. The aforementioned changes reduced the risk of coronary artery disease and type 2 diabetes by 40% and 15%, respectively. However, these beneficiary effects were reversed when the same volunteers consumed PAMP rich diet for a week.
Dr. Erridge explained, "Our recent findings have uncovered a potential mechanism by which certain types of processed food increase risk of developing these diseases. In essence, we have discovered that contaminating molecules that arise in processed foods from the overgrowth of a specific type of bacteria during refrigeration or food processing can cause our immune systems to over-react in a manner that might be damaging to health when we eat foods containing these molecules."
PAMPs are undetectable in fresh and non-processed foods. The study demonstrated a new means of identifying contaminated bacterial products that could be used by food manufacturers to ensure sterile processes. Removal of PAMPs may promote healthier consumption of our favourite foods.
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