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Periodic fasting may reduce the risk of chronic disease by keeping inflammatory immune cells at bay, a new study suggests.
What's more, a second new study suggests that eating fewer calories - enough, but not more than an individual needs for nourishment - may supercharge other infection-fighting immune cells.
Teams - National - Institute - Allergy - Infectious
The teams - from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and the Mount Sinai Health System in New York City - both say this could lead to doctors recommending a nutritional plan coupled with traditional treatments for patients suffering from infections or certain cancers.
'All these studies synergize to show that a simple change in diet can have a profound effect on our immune system,' Dr Yasmine Belkaid, chief of the Metaorganism Immunity Section in NIAID's Division of Intramural Research, told DailyMail.com.
Study - Cell - Mount - Sinai - Researchers
In the first study, published in Cell, Mount Sinai researchers looked at mouse and human immune cells after periods of sporadic fasting.
They found that fasting lowed the number of monocytes, white blood cells that are pro-inflammatory, circulating in the blood.
'Monocytes - Immune - Cells - Tissue - Damage
'Monocytes are highly inflammatory immune cells that can cause serious tissue damage, and the population has seen an increasing amount in their blood circulation as a result of eating habits that humans have acquired in recent centuries,' said Dr Merad, the senior author.
Inflammation can be a normal immune system response to fight off infections, but chronic inflammation can lead to heart disease, diabetes and even cancer.
Spectrum - Diseases - Inflammation - Number - Patients
'Considering the broad spectrum of diseases that are caused by chronic inflammation and the increasing number of patients affected by these diseases, there is an enormous potential in investigating the anti-inflammatory effects of fasting,' said first author Dr Stefan Jordan, a postdoctoral fellow in the department of oncological sciences at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
Dr Belkaid added...
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