Fat could help protect against gut inflammation, study finds

Credit: Unsplash+.

In a study from the Kennedy Institute and elsewhere, scientists found how fat tissues might provide a protective role in intestinal inflammation.

This study opens new lines of research into the treatment of inflammatory bowel diseases.

A fraction of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients, predominantly those with Crohn’s disease, develop a phenomenon known as creeping fat tissue over the course of their condition.

This describes the wrapping of fat around the inflamed part of the intestine. Its biological function, whether beneficial or maladaptive, however, remains unclear.

The current study found new crosstalk between fat tissues and the intestine suggesting that fat tissues, at least initially, may have a protective and beneficial effect by preventing excessive intestinal inflammation.

The researchers were interested to study the crosstalk between fat tissues and the intestine during intestinal inflammation.

They focused their efforts on the role of autophagy, a recycling pathway for cell components, in fat cells and how this would influence the inflammatory processes during colitis.

Mutations or disruption of genes in the autophagy pathway have been previously associated with higher susceptibility to IBD, and Crohn’s.

The study showed that intestinal inflammation induces autophagic flux in adipose tissues of mice and creeping fat of Crohn’s disease patients.

It identified that fat tissues increase the secretion of the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10 during intestinal inflammation.

However, genetic deletion of the autophagy pathway prevented this additional adipose tissue-derived IL-10 secretion and led to more severe intestinal inflammation.

The team says autophagy seems to be an important modulator of adipose tissue homeostasis by controlling the production of important signaling lipids which regulate the production of IL-10 from adipose tissue macrophages during intestinal inflammation.

If you care about gut health, please read studies about common high blood pressure drugs that may harm gut health, and snacking on almonds can boost your gut health.

For more information about health, please see recent studies that mindfulness may effectively lower blood pressure, and results showing  MIND diet could improve cognitive health in older people.

The study was conducted by Felix Richter et al and published in The EMBO Journal.

Copyright © 2023 Knowridge Science Report. All rights reserved.