Western diet makes sepsis worse

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

WASHINGTON - An experimental study in mice has shown has shown that high fat diets cause a dramatic immune system overreaction to sepsis-a condition of systemic bacterial infection.

The study has shown that a diet high in saturated fat, sugars and cholesterol greatly exaggerates the inflammatory response to sepsis.

“Mortality due to sepsis in morbidly obese subjects is estimated to be 7 times more prevalent compared to mortality in lean individuals. Morbidity in obese patients is also more severe,” said Chantal Rivera of the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center-Shreveport.

“Results from our recent studies suggest that this adverse outcome may be caused by consuming a high-fat diet, which predisposes the immune system to react more strongly to infection,” he said.

Rivera lead a team of researchers to carry out the surgical induction of sepsis in mice that had been fed normal chow or western diet for 3 weeks.

Mice on the western diet, which was enriched in saturated fat, showed exacerbated inflammation that was found to be mediated by signalling via the toll-like receptor 4 (TLR-4) pathway.

“These results suggest that targeting the TLR signaling pathway as a therapeutic approach to the medical management of sepsis may be especially beneficial in obese patients,” said Rivera.

The findings were published in the journal BMC Physiology. (ANI)

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