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This 'Vaccine' Could One Day Save Us from Our Own Bad Diets

The diet that has come to define this strange, decadent point in Western history has a litany of health consequences.

by Nick Rose
01 August 2016, 9:00am

Photo via Flickr user PROKate Hopkins

The diet that has come to define this strange, decadent point in Western history has a litany of health consequences.

From diabetes, to obesity, to crack-like addiction, to brain damage, those sweet, sweet sugar crystals and fat molecules are wreaking havoc on our minds and bodies—and we're consuming them like there's no tomorrow.

Sure, we could change our diets; but that would mean cutting down on delicious fats and sugars. Why not just create a vaccine that could do that hard work for us? And if the results of a recent Italian study looking at rodents are any indication, that may not be a huge stretch of the imagination.

READ MORE: Why Sugar Addiction Should Be Treated Like Drug Abuse

One of the many ailments you can add to the aforementioned list is chronic metabolic syndrome, a condition that causes excess body fat around the waist, high blood sugar, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol, all of which significantly increase the likelihood of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.

The culprit? You guessed it: carbs, fat, salt, and sugar, which alter gut microbiota and create an environment rife for inflammation.

But what this recent research showed was that the "reduction of Western-diet-associated inflammation" could be obtained by "immunising" or vaccinating against bacteria with a protein called called ompk36. The immunised mice in this study were found to have significantly improved insulin levels, liver functioning, and reduced inflammation.

"We injected a specific protein, known as ompk36, directly into the intestinal walls of mice which were being fed a 'Western diet'" lead author Filippe Canducci told The Local. The "Western diet" fed to the mice was pellets of carbohydrate, lipid, salt, and sugar profiles, used to simulate the burgers and ice cream we consume in droves in America.

Still, it might be a while before human vaccinate themselves with ompk36 before crushing hot dogs and nachos. Further research is definitely necessary since all of the research was performed on mice, not people. Still, the authors of the study wrote that this mechanism "could be exploited to treat immune-metabolic diseases." But thanks to these fearless Italian researchers, that is now a possibility.

Once again, god bless Italy.

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Diabetes
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chronic metabolic syndrome