A poor diet may damage blood vessels, study finds

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Over the course of the last several decades, the rate of obesity has progressively increased and is now one of the leading causes of death worldwide—650 million adults are classified as obese.

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines obesity as the accumulation of excessive fat in the body creating risks for a healthy life.

The main causes: changing diets and lifestyles. But what are bad eating habits doing to our blood vessels?

In a study from Leipzig University and elsewhere, scientists found how obesity impacts blood vessels’ structure at a molecular level.

The research showed that metabolic disease affects blood vessels in different organs of our body in a unique way.

For instance, blood vessels in the liver and fat tissue struggle to process the excess lipids, kidney vessels develop metabolic dysfunction, lung vessels become highly inflammatory, and transport across the brain vessels is defective.

The study showed how bad eating habits molecularly promote the development of diverse diseases.

The researchers then asked whether a healthy diet could reduce the disease-causing molecular signatures induced by a bad diet.

Their results show that a healthy diet can indeed improve the molecular health of blood vessels, albeit only partially.

For instance, the blood vessels in the liver recovered nearly completely, but blood vessels in the kidneys retained the disease signature, despite a healthy diet and significant weight loss.

This means that some of our blood vessels can develop a “memory” of metabolic disease, which is difficult to reverse.

If you care about nutrition, please read studies about how Mediterranean diet could protect your brain health, and the best time to take vitamins to prevent heart disease.

For more information about nutrition, please see recent studies about plant nutrient that could help reduce high blood pressure, and these antioxidants could help reduce dementia risk.

The study was conducted by Bilal Sheikh et al and published in Nature Metabolism.

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