A new study has found that a common dietary fiber may promote immune responses that are similar to those seen in allergies. The study, which was conducted in preclinical models, provides new insights into the mechanisms underlying dietary fiber-mediated immunomodulation.
Dietary fiber is a type of carbohydrate that cannot be digested by the human body. Despite this, dietary fiber is an important part of a healthy diet, as it provides a number of benefits including improved gut health and lower risk of cardiovascular disease.
There is a growing body of evidence that dietary fiber can also modulate the immune system. However, the mechanisms by which dietary fiber does this are not fully understood.
The new study, which has been published in the journal Immunity, used preclinical models to investigate the effect of a common dietary fiber on the immune system. The fiber used in the study was inulin, which is a type of dietary fiber found in a number of plant-based foods such as chicory, garlic, and onions.
Inulin has been shown to promote the growth of certain types of gut bacteria, and it is thought that this may be one of the mechanisms by which it modulates the immune system.
The study found that inulin promoted the production of immunoglobulin E (IgE) in preclinical models. IgE is an antibody that is associated with allergic reactions.
In addition, the study found that inulin increased the expression of genes that are involved in inflammation. These results suggest that inulin may promote allergic-like immune responses.
While the study provides new insights into how dietary fiber may promote immunomodulation, it is important to note that it was conducted in preclinical models. further studies are needed to determine whether the same effects are seen in humans.
The findings of this study suggest that dietary fiber may have the potential to modulate the immune system in a way that is similar to allergies. While further studies are needed to confirm these findings, the study provides new insights into the mechanisms by which dietary fiber may promote immunomodulation.
A common dietary fiber found in wheat, rye and barley promotes allergy-like immune responses in preclinical studies, thus providing a new lead for developing treatments for food allergies, anaphylactic reactions and other autoimmune disorders.
The study, conducted by a team of researchers at the Universities of California, Davis and La Jolla, appears in the online edition of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.
Dietary fiber is known to beneficially modulate the composition of the gut microbiota, but its effects on immune function are largely unknown. To address this, the researchers used a well-established murine model of experimental allergic encephalomyelitis (EAE), a disorder resembling multiple sclerosis in humans, to test the effects of dietary fiber on the immune system.
Mice were fed diets containing either no dietary fiber or a common dietary fiber known as lignin for four weeks before being induced with EAE. The researchers found that mice fed the lignin-containing diet had increased numbers of a specific type of white blood cell, known as Th17 cells, in their blood and spinal cord compared to mice that were not fed dietary fiber.
In addition, the lignin-fed mice had increased levels of a pro-inflammatory cytokine, known as IL-17, in their blood and spinal cord. These findings suggest that lignin promotes the development of Th17 cells and the production of IL-17, which are key mediators of autoimmunity.
The findings of this study may have implications for the development of new therapeutic strategies for treating autoimmune disorders.