High fat diet increases inflammation in the mouse colon

November 12, 2009,

(PhysOrg.com) -- In mice fed a diet high in fat and low in fiber, vitamin D and calcium -- the so-called Western diet -- expression of a series of genes collectively associated with immune and inflammatory responses was altered. The findings show that a Western diet induces oxidative stress and alters immune responses in the colon of mice long before tumors occur.

Colorectal , the third most common type of cancer worldwide, has been linked to an increased prevalence of the Western diet: one high in fat and low in fiber, and calcium. Now, a team of scientists led by researchers at Rockefeller University have shown what happens to colon tissue when mice are fed such a diet: an that could be the trigger for carcinogenic processes. Their results are published in the November 2009 issue of The .

“There is convincing evidence that increased intake of , processed meat and alcohol can increase risk of colorectal cancer, whereas greater consumption of dietary fiber, milk and calcium might decrease risk,” says Peter Holt, a senior research associate in the Laboratory of Biochemical Genetics and Metabolism at Rockefeller. “Our findings show that a Western diet induces oxidative stress and alters immune responses in the colon of mice long before tumors occur.”

The researchers fed experimental mice either a standard diet containing five percent fat and ample amounts of calcium and vitamin D or a Western diet containing 20 percent fat and adequate but marginal levels of calcium and vitamin D for three or six months.

As expected, animals consuming the Western diet were heavier and had more fat tissue than those on the control diet. Microarray analysis identified 41 genes that were being expressed at significantly different levels between the Western diet and control animals. Most of these genes were related to metabolic processes such as and glutathione metabolism, which is important for preventing damage caused by oxidation. In addition, expression of a series of genes collectively associated with immune and inflammatory responses was altered. The Western diet also increased the number of macrophages, cells associated with inflammation in the colon, as well as several proteins such as myeloperoxidase and MCP-1 and colonic oxidative stress genes associated with inflammation.

Taken together, Holt says, these data suggest that macrophage recruitment and oxidative stress is a potential early mechanism underlying the carcinogenic effect of the Western diet.

More information: The Journal of Nutrition 139(11): 2072-2078 (November 1, 2009) Western-Style Diets Induce Oxidative Stress and Dysregulate Immune Responses in the Colon in a Mouse Model of Sporadic Colon Cancer; Ildiko Erdelyi, Natasha Levenkova, Elaine Y. Lin, John T. Pinto, Martin Lipkin, Fred W. Quimby and Peter R. Holt

Provided by Rockefeller University (news : web)

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Insufficient sleep, even without extended wakefulness, leads to performance impairments

May 21, 2018
Millions of individuals obtain insufficient sleep on a daily basis, which can lead to impaired performance and other adverse physiological outcomes. To what extent these impairments are caused by the short sleep duration ...

Avoiding the car for travel could significantly lower risk of illness and death

May 21, 2018
People who are more active when commuting to work by walking or cycling could be cutting their relative risk of developing ischaemic heart disease or stroke by 11% and their relative risk of dying from these diseases by 30%, ...

New study shows higher formaldehyde risk in e-cigarettes than previously thought

May 21, 2018
Portland State University researchers who published an article three years ago in the New England Journal of Medicine about the presence of previously undiscovered forms of formaldehyde in e-cigarette vapor revisited their ...

Sleep better, parent better: Study shows link between maternal sleep and permissive parenting

May 21, 2018
Research has shown that consistently not getting enough sleep, or getting poor quality sleep, can put you at risk for a number of health conditions. But how does sleep, or the lack of it, affect how you parent?

Mediterranean diet may blunt air pollution's ill health effects

May 21, 2018
Eating a Mediterranean diet may protect people from some of the harm of long-term exposure to air pollution, and reduce their risk of dying from heart attacks, stroke and other causes of death, according to new research presented ...

Exercise to stay young: 4-5 days a week to slow down your heart's aging

May 21, 2018
Participating in exercise 4-5 days per week is necessary to keep your heart young, according to new research published in The Journal of Physiology. These findings could be an important step to develop exercise strategies ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.