Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Fasting, a low carb diet and exercise benefit the immune system?

Wow this is interesting:

a natural immune defence system is linked directly to the metabolic status via the insulin signalling pathway.

....in the case of a low insulin level the FOXO transcription factor is activated.

.... FOXO switches genes for immune defence proteins on when energy is needed. These antimicrobial peptides (AMP) - not to be confused with antibodies – are subsequently jettisoned by the body's cells. They destroy possible pathogens by dissolving their cell walls.

'This hap
pens every minute every day,' the director of studies Prof. Michael Hoch ......explains. 'What is fascinating about this is that a function of the immune system directly depends on how much and what we eat.'

In situations of hunger which mean stress for the body cells, the body releases antimicrobial peptides as a precaution in order to protect itself.

'The barrier between body and outside world is apparently fortified in a potentially dangerous situation in which we
have too little energy,' Professor Hoch presumes.

So there are benefits to your immune system from keepign your insulin levels low. It sounds like a prescription for a low carb / paleo diet and intermittent fasting.

More ammunition for Brad Pilon and East Stop Eat?

2 comments:

L. Wu said...

Interestingly, a large fraction of the immune system is related to the gut. For example,

http://www.medpagetoday.com/InfectiousDisease/GeneralInfectiousDisease/11343

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