For some, the consumption of burger and fries is regarded as a sign of enjoyment, whereas researchers have actually found that junk food is as harmful to the human system as a life-threatening disease.
The scientists further explained how junks weaken the human body, saying that a fast food diet makes immune cells more aggressive over time, increasing the risk of developing major illnesses – these effects can last long after a switch to a healthier diet of fruit and vegetables.
It was their opinion that the findings could explain the link between fast food and the hardening of arteries, since the typical deposits largely consists of lipids and immune cells.
The researchers from the University of Bonn discovered that junk food causes the immune system to go haywire, as if they were being attacked by a serious disease.
The lead author, Eicke Latz, noted that Fast food meals are typically high in fat, sugar and sodium. They’ve been linked to many adverse health effects, including an increased risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and colon cancer.
He buttressed his point with the findings of a 2014 study, which found that a poor diet could weaken the immune system. It revealed that consuming 100 grams of sugar could limit the ability of white blood cells to destroy harmful microorganisms.
For the current study, researchers conducted mice and human experiments.
The study, first published in Cell and reported on Daily Mail Online, experimented with mice and human to arrive at its conclusion. Mice were placed on a ‘western style’ diet laden with fat and sugar and low in fibre. They found that the mice developed a strong inflammatory response through their body.
“’The unhealthy diet led to an unexpected increase in the number of certain immune cells in the blood of the mice, especially granulocytes and monocytes,’ said lab member Dr Anette Christ explained. ‘This was an indication for an involvement of immune cell progenitors in the bone marrow.’
In some of the human subjects, researchers saw genetic evidence of the involvement of inflammasomes, a chemical that recognize agents and other harmful substances and release high inflammatory messengers.
Based on their findings, researchers concluded junk food causes DNA changes.
‘The inflammasome triggers such epigenetic changes,’ Professor Latz explained. ‘The immune system consequently reacts even to small stimuli with stronger inflammatory responses.’
This inflammatory response causes newly activated immune cells to migrate to altered blood vessel walls. When they get too large they can burst, leading to clots, and an increased risk of a heart attack or stroke.
Latz said the foundations of a healthy diet need to become a more prominent part of education so that people, especially children, can make conscious decisions regarding their dietary habits.
The import of the findings is for fast food lovers to abstain from it as much as possible, and replace junks with healthy nuts and fruits. Although, this may be pretty difficult initially, but at the long run, it will pay off.