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    Sugar & Immunity

    Oh, my sugary gut!

    Metabolic and immune systems are among the most fundamental requirements for survival. These two processes are highly integrated, and the proper function of each is dependent on the other

    A Drosophila is an ideal model to research human diseases including diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, in a recent study on the relationship between a high sugar diet and the innate immune response in Drosophila, flies were fed with a high-sucrose diet and observed defects in the phagocytosis of pathogen cells. High-sucrose diet-induced negative alterations in immune cells and aberrant activation of the innate immune system, including inflammation.

    Gut bacteria also play a key role in the development of innate immune cells – specifically macrophages, monocytes and neutrophils – special white blood cells that provide the first line of defense against invading pathogens.

    High sugar content in the diet was found to cause changes in the composition of gut bacteria, especially a decrease in bacterial diversity and abundance of Bacteroidetes and an increase in the abundance of harmful Proteobacteria. At the same time, the intestinal mucosa showed inflammatory changes and impaired resistance.

    So, evidence suggest that processed, simple sugars reduce white blood cell phagocytosis – defense against pathogens – and increase inflammatory cytokine markers in the blood inducing disorders of the immune system and stimulating chronic inflammation.

    Is sugar still your choice?

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