Ultra Processed Foods Increase Risk of Autoimmune Diseases

In Education

It’s no secret that ultra-processed foods are the leading cause of numerous health issues, including obesity, metabolic syndrome, and cardiovascular diseases. However, most people continue consuming these foods in bulk, given the convenience they always bring. For anyone conscious about their health, it’s high time they gave second thoughts to processed foods.

Ultra Processed Foods Deficiency

Immediate studies increasingly show the direct link between ultra-processed foods and adverse effects on the immune system. Consequently, researchers have also found a direct link between such types of foods and increased cases of inflammatory bowel diseases that end up triggering autoimmune diseases.

The thing with ultra-processed foods like snacks, sugary drinks, instant noodles, and ready-to-eat meals is that they contain emulsifiers and micro particles like titanium dioxide. Studies on mice have shown that these ingredients often alter the gut microbiome, affecting how the immune system works.

A diet rich in highly processed foods often falls short in fiber, a deficiency that affects the gut barrier. The bacteria in the gut require fiber to break it down and create short-chain fatty acids. These substances play a crucial role in keeping the intestinal barrier strong and controlling the immune system by reducing inflammation and aiding in producing T cells – a kind of immune cell that targets harmful pathogens. Lacking these substances, the strength of the intestinal barrier could diminish, leading to a rise in inflammation.

Ultra Processed Foods Effects

It has also been discovered that ultra-processed foods rich in high saturated fats, sugar, salts, and additives cause a reduction in beneficial bacteria in the stomach that maintains the gut barrier. On the other hand, they also trigger an increase in harmful bacteria that results in inflammation.

One study demonstrated that consuming a diet rich in processed foods resulted in increased calorie consumption and weight gain when compared to a diet devoid of processed foods, which was balanced for calorie and sodium content. As time passes, diets high in ultra-processed foods could play a role in obesity and ongoing inflammation. These conditions are closely associated with changes in the gut microbiome, such as a reduction in microbial variety and an increase in gut permeability, which could then impact immune system performance.

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