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Immune cells in the intestine can determine whether our metabolism works hot or cold, according to a new study.
Experiments made in specially designed mice found that some immune cells in the small intestine tend to slow down the metabolism and send the absorbed food to be stored as fat instead of turning it into energy, according to the study published in Wednesday in Nature. Mice designed to not possess these immune cells can consume high fat, sugar and salt diets without developing conditions such as obesity, diabetes, hypertension and heart disease, researchers said. to set something in the gut of people genetically programmed to have "safer" or slow metabolism. Perhaps by increasing the levels of some substances in the intestine, metabolism may increase to a warmer, thus allowing people to eat a little more without gaining weight. "When you eat food, your body needs to decide what to do with energy in the diet," said study co-author Philip Suvarsky, associate professor at the Harvard Medical School and principal investigator at the Center for Systemic Biology at Massachusetts General Hospital. "Immune cells calibrate this solution and essentially place brakes on high metabolism."
Swirski and his colleagues began focusing on a protein called integrin beta7 that directs the immune cells to the gut. Mice without the protein gene ate much more than those with it but did not fill their weight even though they were not more active than normal mice. "They have a higher basal temperature."
The following researchers have tried to feed the two groups of mice with a high fat, sugar and sodium diet of the type of diet known to cause metabolic syndrome ̵
Mice without beta7 remain stacked and do not develop glucose intolerance, resulting in higher than normal blood glucose levels and high blood pressure.
In contrast, normal mice became obese and developed high blood pressure and decreased glucose tolerance
The following researchers examined the effect of this protein on mice that are vulnerable to high cholesterol and arterial hardening. Once again, mice lacking beta7 protein were healthier, maintaining normal levels of fat despite eating a high cholesterol diet.
But how does beta7 affect metabolism? Certain immune cells, known as T-cells, in the small intestine.
"This is where we came across GLP-1, a metabolic-stimulating protein, Swirski.
Swirski and colleagues found that the T cells they studied had plenty of GLP-1 receptors. Mice with more beta7 but not GLP-1 receptors have faster metabolism. This has proven that "critical cells are T cells that express the GLP-1 receptor," said Suwars.
Slow metabolism helped survive
Now that researchers have found cells that slow metabolism, Swirski begins to wonder why mice and humans will have a system that slows down metabolism.
One possible reason is how people have evolved to survive shortage of food for millions of years. "Having such brakes under these conditions would be beneficial to survival," said Svisary. "This would mean that you can store the ingested food for a longer time as it has been turned into fat to be used if you have not had frequent meals."
This has only become a problem in recent times. "When there is so much nutrition, the system has the opposite effect," said Suvarsky.
The new study can be of great importance to people, UCLA gastroenterologist Dr. Ameran Meyer, author of The Mind-Gut Connection: How The Hidden Conversation In Our Bodies Affects Our Mood, Our Elections And The General our health. "Researchers have shown that immune cells in the gut" regulate metabolism, contributing to the development of obesity, metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease in the presence of a high fat and high sugar diet, "Emeral said in an email .
Why Some Are Not Gaining Weight
Calling the new study "provocative," Dr. Torren Finkel said he can help scientists find new ways to help people fight weight gain. There have been hints of a connection between the immune system and obesity, says Finkel, director of the Institute of Aging at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
"The inflammatory response to obesity causes many of the problems associated with it. Interestingly, there are already medications for diabetes that mimic GLP-1, Finkel noted.
This new look at immune cell biology and metabolism is extremely important, "said Michael Blaha, director of clinical research at John Hopkins Center for the Prevention of Heart Disease in Medicine
. He suggests explaining why some people are overweight and some are overweight. "And that tells us that history is much more complicated than just calculating calories and calories," he said.
"For a long time we have treated the effects of obesity – such as high blood. pressure and high cholesterol – because we did not have ways to attack the causes of obesity, "said Blaha. "It will be much better if we are able to treat the causes of impaired metabolism, not the consequences of it."