Posted by Neill Abayon
In the past 50 years, as fruits and vegetables have featured less and less in the
Western diet, rates of allergic asthma have gone up. Now a new study suggests these trends are not
coincidental, but causally linked.
Funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF), and led by Benjamin Marsland, an assistant professor at Lausanne University Hospital (CHUV) in Switzerland, researchers report their work in a recent online issue of Nature Medicine.
Using laboratory mice, they found that when gut bacteria digest dietary fiber, such as that contained in fruits and vegetables, they release fatty acids into the bloodstream, and these affect how the immune system behaves in the lungs.
The finding builds on knowledge that has been around for some time: that having a rich and diverse mix of microbes in the gut that digests and ferments fiber, helps prevent cancer of the intestines.