A high-fat diet allows the immune system to destroy parasitic worms, which are the leading cause of death and disease in developing countries. Reported by Lancaster University.
In total, about 1 billion people suffer from parasitic worms in the world, they mainly live in developing countries. One of the most vexing parasites is the whipworm, a small roundworm that attaches itself to the wall of the colon and feeds on blood.
Researchers at Lancaster University found that a high-fat diet allows the body to combat this problem. The study was conducted on mice that were infected with Trichuris muris , a close relative of the human whipworm. Previously, scientists have found that the immune response that expels worms depends on white blood cells called T-helper 2 cells, which are specialized to eliminate gastrointestinal parasites.
Now the experiment has confirmed that a high-fat diet increases the number of ST2 molecules on T-helper cells, which contributes to an increased response from their side. This leads to the expulsion of the parasite from the body. “We were quite surprised by what we found in this study. High-fat diets are mainly associated with increased pathology during illness. However, in the case of whipworm infection, a high-fat diet allows T-helper cells to develop the correct immune response to expel the worm,” the authors explain.
However, scientists cannot recommend this diet as a universal parasite control measure. For example, the expulsion of parasites of another species, on the contrary, contributes to weight loss.
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