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Sugar Disrupts Microbiome and Immune Function, leading to metabolic disorders

  • A new study found that sugar consumption leads to a loss of important immune cells in mice.

  • Sugar appears to tip the microbiome balance away from bacteria that support immune cells in favor of non-beneficial bacteria.

  • The study authors draw a strong connection between the loss of these immune cells and cardiometabolic diseases, such as diabetes.

Research shows that an estimated 70% of the immune system resides in the gut.

Immune cells in the gut interact with the microbiome — the bacteria and fungi that live in the intestines — linking diet directly to the health of the immune system.

Now, a new study in mice — which appears in the journal CellTrusted Source — has found that dietary sugar indirectly leads to a loss of critical immune cells.

Paul Gill a research fellow at the Department of Microbial Disease, Eastman Dental Institute, University College London in the U.K., who was not involved in this study, told Medical News Today that “[t]he study authors have outlined a new mechanism by which high doses of sugar impact the gut microbiota and immune system.”

“A high-sugar diet promoted the growth of a bacterial species that outcompetes commensal ‘good’ bacteria. A consequence of this gut dysbiosis,” explained Gill, “is a reduction in a specific type of immune cell called a T-helper 17 cell [TH17], which was found to protect mice from high fat diet-induced obesity.” - Read entire article by Robby Berman, MedicalNewsToday.


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