Researchers at the University of Bonn, Germany, discovered that eating fatty and sugary foods affects our immune system and our genes, and is the cause of the increase in cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.
Too salty, too sweet, rich in saturated fat and low in fiber: we already know that the foods sold in fast food venues are very poor from a nutritional point of view. But today, researchers are also interested in the consequences of such a diet on our genes.
After feeding mice with foods similar to those sold in fast-food restaurants, scientists at the University of Bonn have discovered that the “modern western diet” is altering the expression of certain genes, which identify this intake of fat and in sugar as an infection. “The unhealthy diet has led to an unexpected increase in the number of certain immune cells in the blood of mice, particularly granulocytes and monocytes,” says Anette Christ in a statement from the University.
And since the innate immune system has some form of memory, it then creates specific sensors to recognize fast food food and react accordingly. “After an infection, the body’s defenses remain in a sort of state of alarm, so that they can respond more quickly to a new attack,” says Professor Eicke Latz.
These strong inflammatory responses would be the cause of the increase of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes in the population.
In addition, after returning a normal and balanced diet to the mice, the researchers found that the modified genes “were still active four weeks after the experiment”, proving the long-term consequences of such a diet on our body.
Thanks to their discovery, scientists want to prevent the dangers of modern industrial food and encourage people to adopt a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, far from processed products.