For our body, junk food is like an infection

Research shows that the body reacts to junk food by producing the same white blood cells it uses to fight bacterial infections.Go easy on fast food and, more generally, on fats and sugars: if exposed to too high doses of junk food, our body could react as if it were faced with a bacterial infection.

The disturbing discovery comes from Germany, where Anne Christ, a researcher at the University of Berlin, has conducted various experiments on the consequences of a prolonged diet rich in saturated fat, sugar and salt and low in fiber, fruit and vegetables.

GUINEA PIGS & CHIPS. The scientist gave a population of mice the equivalent of a fast food diet for 30 days, completely depriving them of fresh vegetables. After a month, the animals had very high levels of granulocytes and monocytes, the cells normally produced by the immune system when it has to fight a bacterial infection.

CultureWho Invented Fast Food?

According to the researchers, the particular diet to which the rodents were subjected activated the genes responsible for the immune response. This is worrying, because the cells that produce granulocytes and monocytes have some sort of memory that they use to respond to bacterial attacks.

In other words, when the body begins to react to junk food, just returning to a healthy diet may not be enough to stop the inflammatory process.

EVERYONE ON A DIET. The mice, after 30 days of fast food, have returned – in spite of themselves – to the more boring but healthy diet based on vegetables and cereals. After another month their bodies were completely detoxified and the granulocytes and monocytes had returned to normal levels. However, these animals remained more sensitive to subsequent attacks by harmful substances: small amounts of junk food were enough to trigger the immune response and inflammatory processes responsible, among other things, for diseases such as type II diabetes.

The study has so far been conducted only on mice but, the scientists conclude, these animals were chosen precisely for their genetic similarity with humans.


by Abdullah Sam
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