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Fasting Improves Chronic Inflammatory Diseases

by Colleen Fleiss on August 23, 2019 at 5:25 AM
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Fasting Improves Chronic Inflammatory Diseases

Fasting was found to reduce inflammation and improve chronic inflammatory diseases without affecting the immune system's response to acute infections, reveal Mount Sinai researchers and published in Cell.

While acute inflammation is a normal immune process that helps fight off infections, chronic inflammation can have serious consequences for health, including heart disease, diabetes, cancer, multiple sclerosis, and inflammatory bowel diseases.

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"Caloric restriction is known to improve inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, but the mechanisms by which reduced caloric intake controls inflammation have been poorly understood," said senior author Miriam Merad, MD, PhD, Director of the Precision Immunology Institute at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

Working with human and mouse immune cells, Dr. Merad and colleagues showed that intermittent fasting reduced the release of pro-inflammatory cells called "monocytes" in blood circulation. Further investigations revealed that during periods of fasting, these cells go into "sleep mode" and are less inflammatory than monocytes found in those who were fed.
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"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.

Researchers plan to continue trying to decipher the molecular mechanisms by which fasting improves inflammatory diseases, which could lead to novel preventive therapeutic strategies for the treatment of many human diseases.

Source: Eurekalert
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