Are processed foods disrupting our immune systems? Via True Activist:
The modern diet of processed foods could be to blame for a sharp increase in autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, alopecia, asthma and eczema.
A team of scientists from Yale University in the U.S and the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, in Germany, say junk food diets could be partly to blame. “This study is the first to indicate that excess refined and processed salt may be one of the environmental factors driving the increased incidence of autoimmune diseases,” they said.
The team from Yale University studied the role of T helper cells in the body. These activate and ‘help’ other cells to fight dangerous pathogens such as bacteria or viruses and battle infections. A subset of these cells – known as Th17 cells – also play an important role in the development of autoimmune diseases.
In their study, scientists discovered that exposing these cells in a lab to a table salt solution made them act more ‘aggressively.’ They found that mice fed a diet high in refined salts saw a dramatic increase in the number of Th17 cells in their nervous systems that promoted inflammation. They were also more likely to develop a severe form of a disease associated with multiple sclerosis in humans.
Refined, processed and bleached salts are the problem. Salt is critical to our health and is the most readily available nonmetallic mineral in the world. But our bodies are not designed to processed refined sodium chloride that has no nutritional value.