Another link between high fat diet, obesity, heart disease found by UK study
New UK research has uncovered a new way in which a high-fat diet could increase the risk of heart disease, by causing a harmful activation of the immune system.
This new study, funded by the British Heart Foundation and led by a team from Queen Mary University of London (QMUL), has now also found that obesity could increase the risk of a heart attack by triggering an immune response in the body.
Essential for immune response, T-cells protect the body from infections. However, they also cause inflammation, making certain cardiovascular diseases worse, as well as contributing to conditions such as atherosclerosis a build-up of fatty plaques in arteries, which can lead to a heart attack or stroke.
The team also found the same results in mice, with those fed a high-fat diet also showing higher levels of T-cells, leading the researchers to conclude that it is a high-fat diet—which can lead to obesity—that seems to be causing the harmful inflammation.
The team agreed that more research into the findings is now needed, with Dr. Claudio Mauro commenting, “Our next step is to find out how long these harmful T-cells remain in our blood at high levels. As yet we don’t know whether dieting will bring the levels of these T-cells down and reduce the risk of heart disease or whether once raised, these T-cell levels remain high for life.”
The team added that further research could lead to new treatments that target and prevent this inflammation, lowering a person’s risk of heart disease.
The results can be found published online in the journal Cell Metabolism. JB