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Certain Dietary Fats are Causing Autoimmune Disease Flare-Ups

October 21, 2015

There are 50-million Americans who suffer from an auto-immune disease. They all could possibly be worsening their condition based on what they eat. German researchers compared how certain dietary fats affected mice with autoimmune diseases. Their findings, published in the journal Immunity will no doubt help shape the way MS patients are told to eat.

Auto-immune diseases mistakenly attack healthy cells and many researchers are beginning to learn that dietary fats influence how these symptoms come about. Long-chain fatty acids are found in many common foods like beef, pork, cheese and butter. As you might have guessed, this type of acid triggered the release of the pro-inflammatory T-cells, essentially worsening that mice’s flare up.

The other kind of fatty acid, short-chain or “Omega-3”, produced a different type of reaction. The mice that were given Omega-3 fatty acids benefitted from the growth of their regulatory T-cells, in effect keeping their disease in check. These acids are found in fish, flaxseed oil, walnuts and green veggies like spinach, kale, broccoli and Brussels sprouts.

“Most approved immunotherapies weaken or block pro-inflammatory components of the immune system,” explained the study’s lead author Ralf Linker, a researcher from Friedrich Alexander University, in a press release. “But by strengthening regulatory pathways, therapies could be further optimized.”