Soluble fibre boosts immune system
A recent study from the US claims that soluble fibre strengthens the immune system and reduces inflammation linked to obesity-related diseases.
Gregory Freund, a professor in the University of Illinois’ College of Medicine, said, ‘Soluble fibre changes the personality of immune cells — they go from being pro-inflammatory, angry cells to anti-inflammatory, healing cells that help us recover faster from infection’.
This change occurs because soluble fibre (found in apples, oats and nuts among other foods) increases the production of interleukin-4, an anti-inflammatory protein.
The study comprised a six-week experiment in which laboratory mice were fed low-fat diets which differed only in their content of either soluble or insoluble fibre. At the end of the six weeks, the mice had significantly differing responses when the researchers introduced lipopolysaccharide, a substance that mimics a bacterial infection in the body.
Study researcher Christina Sherry, who also worked on the study, said; ‘Two hours after lipopolysaccharide injection, the mice fed soluble fibre were only half as sick as the other group, and they recovered 50 per cent sooner. And the differences between the groups continued to be pronounced all the way out to 24 hours. In only six weeks, these animals had profound, positive changes in their immune systems’.
Source: Brain, Behavior, and Immunity