A diet with high fat and sugar induces abnormalities in immune systems, which can cause reducing natural killer T (NKT) cells in the liver, according to a study of mice conducted by researchers at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.
The study, published in the Oct. issue of the journal Hepatology, found that mice on a high fat diet not only gained more weight, but also developed fatty livers and increased levels of a cytokine that reduces NKT cells.
A high fat diet was also found to promote production of pro-inflammatory cytokines. When the liver injury was induced, more liver inflammation and damage was found in the mice on a high fat diet, than those on a normal diet.
The results of the study suggest high-fat diets contribute to chronic inflammation in the liver, which promotes other chronic liver disease.
Source: John Hopkins University