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The missing link between diet and autoimmune disease

🍁Recent studies looking at diet and autoimmune disease have increasingly shown a link between a Western style diet, and higher risk of disease

🍁This is thought to be due to several factors :

🍁Western diets increase risk of obesity, in particular white adipose tissue (WAT), a type of fat cell that increases inflammation as it releases inflammatory chemicals (CRP, TNF-alpha, IL6, leptin)

🍁These chemicals impact T regulatory cells (T-reg), the cells that control the immune balance

🍁High salt diets are also known to promote autoimmune disease, again through altering T-cell balance

🍁Red meat contains a sugar called Neu5Gc, which can trigger an autoimmune response when absorbed

🍁The gut biome plays a huge role in immune function, and altered gut biome is linked with autoimmune disease, again via altered T cell balance .

🍁Diets low in fibre, and high in saturated fat and fructose, damage the gut microbiome. In animal studies, altering the gut biome to either 'good' or 'bad' bacteria, has a direct impact on inflammatory markers

🍁Processed foods, high fat, and high refined carb diets also alter gut wall permeability, allowing food antigens and bacterial byproducts to get into the blood, triggering inflammation ('leaky gut').

🍁Dietary emulsifiers have also been shown to increase risk of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD,) potentially due to effect on gut wall permeability and gut biome

🍁In MS and RA, diets high in dairy, animal fat, and red meat increased risk; while high plant fibre and omega 3 intake reduced risk

🍁In psoriasis and IBD, diets high in plants and omega 3 can reduce risk and disease severity

🍁High sugar diets cause AGEs, a compound that is highly inflammatory. They also alter immune cell metabolism, through the 'warburg effect' - promoting inflammation

So what is the best diet to reduce risk of autoimmune disease, and symptoms?

🍁A diet high in plant based foods, fibre, and omega 3 ie Mediterranean style diet, is the most evidence based approach, along with reduced fat, red meat, refined carbs, and added sugar

🍁This improves gut biome, and reduces 'leaky gut', inflammatory markers and weight

🍁More details in my next post!!

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