Research from Yale University reveals the release of a compound in the body during dieting and fasting which can block portions of the immune system in several disease processes. More specifically, the disease processes involved include atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), type 2 diabetes, and Alzheimer’s.
Inflammasome – Drives the Inflammatory Response
During the study at the Yale School of Medicine, researchers discovered how β-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) directly hinders NLRP3. The NLRP3 is part of a complex protein system, known as inflammasome, within the body which affects the inflammation process.
The inflammasome is found to drive the inflammatory response within various autoimmune disorders. According to Dr. Dixit, these findings are very important and can help in continued research to find solutions to combat the inflammation response within the disease processes.
The BHB metabolite can block the NLRP3 inflammasome. BHB is produced within the body as it responds to fasting, lower calorie intake, and increased intensity of exercise. Dixit reminded us of the well-known fact that fasting and decreased calorie intake reduces inflammation within the body. However, it is unclear as to how the immune cells adapt to the change.
During the Yale research, focused concentration was placed on studying macrophages (special immune cells which increase inflammation). The noted responses of macrophages include exposure to ketone bodies as it relates to inflammasome. Mice were injected with human immune cells during the research, further investigating the complex process.
Final Research Results
Subjects of the research study were given BHB. Research revealed decreased inflammation response. Adding a ketogenic diet also revealed an increase of BHB within the bloodstream.
Dr. Dixit strongly concluded BHB metabolites are produced with the introduction of a ketogenic (low carb) diet. High-intensity exercise sessions also lowered NLRP3 inflammasome within the subjects.
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