Obesity Key in Sparking Autoimmune Diseases

chid-obesity_副本Obesity has been linked to many chronic diseases. But this is not all.

A study reveals that obesity is also a primary environmental factor sparking disorders like Crohn’s Disease and multiple sclerosis.

Autoimmune diseases like Crohn’s Disease and multiple sclerosis, in which the immune system attacks its own body rather than predatory

invaders, affect 5-20 percent of the global community.

More: Obesity Hits All Groups of Americans: Study

According to the research, obesity leads to a breakdown of the body’s protective self-tolerance, creating the optimal environment for autoimmune diseases, and generates a pro-inflammatory environment likely to worsen the disease’s progression and hinder its treatment.

“We’ve been aware of a long list of causes of autoimmune disorders — infections, smoking, pesticides, lack of vitamins, and so forth. But in last five years, a new factor has emerged that cannot be ignored: obesity,” said Prof. Yehuda Shoenfeld, the Laura Schwarz-Kipp Chair for Research of Autoimmune Diseases at Tel Aviv University’s Sackler Faculty of Medicine.

Learn: Obesity Accelerates Aging of the Liver: UCLA

“According to the World Health Organization, approximately 35% of the global community is overweight or obese, and more than ten autoimmune diseases are known to be associated with increased weight. So it’s critical to investigate obesity’s involvement in the pathology of such diseases.”

In his study on mice with multiple sclerosis, Shoenfeld found that Vitamin D deficiency was also a result of obesity and, once corrected, alleviated paralysis and kidney deterioration associated with the disorder. It also improved the prognosis and survival of the mice.

You may also want to read: Vitamin D Deficiency Linked to Obesity

“Modern life makes us all prone to Vitamin D deficiency,” said Shoenfeld. “We live in labs, offices, and cars. When Vitamin D is secreted in fat tissue, it is not released into the body, which needs Vitamin D to function properly. Since Vitamin D supplements are very cheap and have no side effects, they are an ideal compound that should be prescribed to anyone at risk of a compromised immune system.”

Shoenfeld believes his research can be a basis for specific therapies to treat autoimmune syndrome. “If a patient is at risk, he or she should be told to do everything in his or her power to maintain a healthy weight,” he said.

Reference:

Obesity in autoimmune diseases: Not a passive bystander,” Mathilde Versini, Pierre-Yves Jeandel, Eric Rosenthal, Yehuda Shoenfeld, Autoimmunity Reviews online 2 August 2014

 

 

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