Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Healthy Bodies Help Fight Disease? Clues To How Diet Affects The Immune System

Date:
December 1, 2006
Source:
Garvan Institute of Medical Research
Summary:
Scientists are proposing that dietary fats can affect how well our immune system works and have discovered that one of the earliest steps in immune system activation relies on a molecule that binds fats.

Scientists are proposing that dietary fats can affect how well our immune system works and have discovered that one of the earliest steps in immune system activation relies on a molecule that binds fats.

"This study may help explain the link between dietary fat consumption and inflammation and could be one of the critical links between metabolism and immune responses," says senior author Professor Charles Mackay, Director of Sydney's Garvan Institute's Immunology Program.

Our intake of fats (fatty acids) has changed dramatically over the last thirty years. At the same time there has been an increase in inflammatory diseases in the western world -- especially asthma, atherosclerosis, and autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. "We have shown that a subset of white blood cells, called dendritic cells, which initiate immune responses, rely on the fatty acid binding molecule aP2 for their function. It is possible that different fatty acids or their total levels will affect aP2 function in dendritic cells, and hence affect immune responses," explains Mackay.

Professor Mackay added: "What we want to do now is study whether it is the total levels of fats or the different types of fats that alter dendritic cell function, through their binding to aP2. We know that dietary changes can improve symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and we believe that a 'diet hypothesis' may account for the dramatic changes in inflammatory diseases seen in the western world over the past 30 years -molecules such as aP2 may be one of the clues that will help explain this phenomenon."

Over-activation of dendritic cells can trigger inflammatory diseases. This discovery reveals aP2 is key to that process. Fatty acid binding molecules, such as aP2, have already been identified as promising targets for the treatment of metabolic disorders such as type 2 diabetes and atherosclerosis. This new research suggests that medicines directed at aP2 would have great potential in inflammatory as well as metabolic diseases.

This research is published in the December 1 edition of the well-reputed Journal of Immunology. This work was supported in part by grants from the Cooperative Research Centre for Asthma, National Health and Medical Research Council, the National Institutes of Health, and the Sandler Program. Numerous studies have shown that fats such as omega 3, best known for being found in fish, linseed, and sunflower oil, improve clinical outcomes for rheumatoid arthritis.

The Garvan Institute of Medical Research was founded in 1963 by the Sisters of Charity. Initially a research department of St Vincent's Hospital in Sydney, it is now one of Australia's largest medical research institutions with approximately 400 scientists, students and support staff. The Garvan Institute's main research programs are: Cancer, Diabetes & Obesity, Arthritis & Immunology, Osteoporosis, and Neuroscience. It is part of the St Vincent's Hospital Campus.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Garvan Institute of Medical Research. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Garvan Institute of Medical Research. "Healthy Bodies Help Fight Disease? Clues To How Diet Affects The Immune System." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 December 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/11/061130191550.htm>.
Garvan Institute of Medical Research. (2006, December 1). Healthy Bodies Help Fight Disease? Clues To How Diet Affects The Immune System. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/11/061130191550.htm
Garvan Institute of Medical Research. "Healthy Bodies Help Fight Disease? Clues To How Diet Affects The Immune System." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/11/061130191550.htm (accessed August 1, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, August 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

Reuters - US Online Video (July 31, 2014) The Republican-led House of Representatives votes to sue President Obama, accusing him of overstepping his executive authority in making changes to the Affordable Care Act. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Despite Health Questions, E-Cigs Are Beneficial: Study

Despite Health Questions, E-Cigs Are Beneficial: Study

Newsy (July 31, 2014) Citing 81 previous studies, new research out of London suggests the benefits of smoking e-cigarettes instead of regular ones outweighs the risks. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

AP (July 31, 2014) Sarasota County, Florida health officials have issued a warning against eating raw oysters and exposing open wounds to coastal and inland waters after a dangerous bacteria killed one person and made another sick. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins