Here’s Why You’re Fat and Sick: Fattening Western Diet Is Also Killing Your Immune Response
By Kurtis Bright
How Your Immune System Is Affected by a Western Diet
There is a video making the rounds that shows what happens to a Big Mac when sulfuric acid is poured over it. It is disturbing, not for what happens to the burger but rather what doesn’t.
Not a lot, is the short answer. The bun starts to turn black, and you keep waiting for the thing to dissolve in a puff of smoke, or melt into a puddle of goo like one of Walter White's unfortunate occupants of the infamous blue barrels. But the effects pretty much stop there.
So a 30-minute bath in acid, rather than melting the bread, meat, and sauce just turns the bun hard and leaves the rest of it pretty much the way it looked when it came out of the box.
So...next question: what happens in your stomach when you eat one?
Fast food, as most of us know, is so heavily laden with chemicals and preservatives that even calling it “food” has at times proven something of a stretch. (Recall for instance when Taco Bell was sued because their taco “meat” turned out to be only about 35 percent actual meat.)
Of course it is also proven fact that the western, fast-food heavy diet causes more and more people to become obese and has contributed to a concurrent rise in Type 2 diabetes.
However an Australian study shows that fast food is changing us in many different ways, ways that are more subtle, and indeed more disturbing. The New South Wales study focused on T cells, or T lymphocytes, which power our immune system. And what they found was that these vital cells are strongly affected by fatty, preservative-heavy fast food.
A high-fat diet was fed to mice for nine weeks to determine what other effects might occur aside from weight gain. What they found was not what they anticipated.
“Despite our hypothesis that the T cell response and capacity to eliminate invading pathogens would be weakened we actually saw the opposite: the percentage of overactive T cells increased,” said study lead Abigail Pollock.
And while at first blush that might sound like a desirable effect, perhaps resulting in an ultra-healthy immune system, the truth is that over-stimulated T-cells are not a good thing. In such a state they attack healthy parts of the body, which results in problems like autoimmune diseases, including type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and inflammatory bowel disease.
The researchers think that the extra fat in the diet has the effect of changing the rodents on a cellular level. This is because cell membranes are constructed of layers of fatty lipid molecules. In the affected mice, the extra fat actually changed the make-up of the cells themselves.
As pointed out by Pollock, this “ ... changes the structure of the cell, altering the responsiveness of the T cells and changing the immune response.”
So remember, when considering a quick trip to the drive-through on the way home from work for some cheap, easy fast food, remember that the price you pay could be much higher than added inches on your waistline.