The generation of molecular defences to trigger and sustain the production of metabolic inflammatory episodes driven by Western lifestyles appear to create an immune programming capability.
What does that mean? Our innate immune system, the one we are born with and which is not meant to have any related memory capabilities can it seems, be imprinted with patterns that retain activation after the trigger has been resolved. A challenge that may require immune resetting along with dietary and lifestyle changes to generate resolution.
As we all know, and increasingly it seems many of our enlightened medical colleagues are discovering that the key risk factor for the development and sustaining of metabolic diseases is the Western diet. Typically described as high in calories and rich in sugars, trans and saturated fats, salt and food additives, but low in complex carbohydrates, fibre, vitamins and minerals.
Recently and rather depressingly research has demonstrated that for the first time ever, life expectancy is projected to decline and It is likely that this downward trend will accelerate as a result of the detrimental effects of the Western lifestyle on the health of the current generation of children. Hence, the extension of a healthy life by the promotion of effective preventive measures as well as novel treatments for non-communicable diseases should be key goals of your health creation efforts.
Studies establishing that there is a causative relationship via the generation and sustaining of an inflammatory response show that the consumption of a Western diet leads to both quantitative and qualitative changes in intestinal commensal bacteria communities (dysbiosis) and the metabolites they produce.
Then they confirm that Western diet consumption disturbs the gut barrier integrity, which — together with dysbiosis — promotes the influx of harmful microbial products into the portal vein circulation and the induction of systemic inflammation. In addition, this increased permeability disturbs local immune cell signalling, causes an influx of inflammatory myeloid cells and promotes a switch of gut-resident macrophages from a tolerogenic to an inflammatory state and results in a reduction of beneficial regulatory T cells, that mediate inflammatory responses.
Importantly, the Western diet-induced systemic inflammation and reprogramming of myeloid cell precursors was mediated through activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome, which is a key innate immune sensor for many environmental danger signals, such as uric acid, ATP, oxidised mitochondrial DNA and cholesterol crystals. The Western diet triggered an increase in myelopoiesis and induced trained immunity in both differentiated myeloid cells and myeloid precursor cells. In effect, the Western diet appears to be mistakenly recognised by the immune system as a threat to the organism and a memory against its presence is developed responding in an adapted, typically sensitised, manner upon re-exposure.
Whilst these proposals will need to be demonstrated in human clinical studies there is a clear link between the Western diet and the induction and maintenance of tissue inflammation driven by immune interaction. With most of the world’s population living in areas where being overweight is responsible for more deaths than being underweight and with more than one-third of adults worldwide classified as overweight or obese, we face a pandemic of lifestyle-associated diseases.
Tackling lifestyle induced metainflammation diseases requires multimodal interventions, as prevention and restitution have similar mechanistic pathways that need to be reprogrammed or programmed to induce tolerance and immune competence without excess reactivity. Food represents one of the primary paths for clinicians and practitioners to focus on, as it has been highjacked by the food industry, but stress, activity, sleep, behavioural habits and environmental exposures are also key to resolve.
I am sure that you have experienced this inner challenge all too often, probably not that far from home either. It’s frustrating isn’t it, when the chance of an altered life (for the better) is within reach but requires a change in actions, behaviour, circumstance and choices. Read the rest of this entry »
Vitamin K is an essential bioactive compound required for optimal body function. Vitamin K can be present in various isoforms, distinguishable by two main structures, namely, phylloquinone (K1) and menaquinones (K2). The difference in structure between K1 and K2 is seen in different absorption rates, tissue distribution, and bioavailability. With K2 being better absorbed than K1. Read the rest of this entry »
Chronic consumption of a Western diet along with sedentary behaviour causes chronic metabolic inflammation (termed metaflammation) and is ‘memorised’ by innate immune cells through long-lasting metabolic and epigenetic cellular reprogramming. Suggesting that the innate immune system, thought to have no memory, can be programmed over time to adopt a fast memory induced response. Read the rest of this entry »
There’s a movement growing in the UK’s GP surgeries, hospitals and outpatient clinics. As depression and anxiety rates climb and the obesity and related illness epidemic continues unabated our health care providers are losing patience with their traditional (allopathic) tools. Witness the publication in April 2019 that over 50% of people on the medical industries primary medication for raised cholesterol – statins – do not show sufficient improvement to warrant the continuation of the medication. Read the rest of this entry »
This editorial is a little different but is also connected to health management and wellbeing. You see many, many people feel frustrated and agitated about just not getting things done. Procrastination and deviation, as well as focus absence drags us away from completing or in many cases even starting tasks. The result in many cases is an insidious sense of lack of productivity and associated satisfaction. Read the rest of this entry »
In the intellectual schism between the hardened scientific reductionists and those prepared to explore beyond their current margin of confidence and institutional remit, there is an emerging pattern in the comprehension of the role of chemical pollutants. Included in this is the almost heretical concept that modifying primary enzyme pathways through the ingestion of food concentrates might aid in protection and or recovery! Read the rest of this entry »
Sleeping is a basic human need, like eating, drinking, and breathing. Like these other needs, sleeping is a vital part of the foundation for good health and well-being throughout your lifetime. Yet many people – perhaps even yourself find it difficult to sleep as much as you would like to and forlornly hope that a longer lie in may let you catch up! Did you know that the average Briton gets just six hours and 19 minutes sleep a night, yet back in the 1940s they would average almost 8 hours. In the blink of an eye, in evolutionary terms, humans have radically altered a fundamental biological necessity – with repercussions we are still only beginning to understand. Read the rest of this entry »
In a week of political defections and naked activists appearing on TV and radio to discuss the matters around Brexit, it’s clear that divisions in the opinion of the electorate continue to pull apart established norms. The structural changes proposed by the UK’s impending exit from the European Union are far more complex and convoluted than were proposed and ‘sold’ and outcomes far less clear than promised. Read the rest of this entry »
Earlier this month after 2 years of consideration the EAT-Lancet Commission published its report in the medical journal the Lancet. The project set out with admirable aims, to pull together the thoughts and evidence base from a large group of experts to see if they could identify a ‘healthy diet from sustainable food systems’. General media opinion since publication has been positive and there are many commendable aspects to the report, but as with many big data driven reports some of the underlying subtleties have been missed out or glossed over. Read the rest of this entry »