Inflammation is part of the normal healing process. But when it leads to chronic inflammation, the story is different. If the inflammatory response continues, the immune system can target healthy tissues, which can adversely affect health, including heart disease, asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, and more.
According to the US ‘Healthline.com’ report, Stanford Medical School published a study showing that eating fermented foods can help suppress inflammation. As a result of investigating whether diet can play a certain role in reducing inflammation, fermented foods such as kimchi increase the overall microbial diversity of the intestinal ecosystem and show an anti-inflammatory effect.
In a clinical trial, the research team, led by Dr. Justin Sonnenberg, assigned 36 healthy adults a diet of fermented or high-fiber foods for 10 weeks. As a result, four types of immune cells were less activated in the fermented food group. Levels of 19 inflammatory proteins measured in blood samples were also lowered. It has been shown that simple dietary changes can have a significant effect on the gut microbiome and the immune system.
According to this study, fermented foods reduced the activation of immune cells involved in chronic inflammation. This supports the known link between the immune system and the gut ecosystem.
Those who ate yogurt, fermented cottage cheese, kimchi, kombucha, and kefir also had an overall increase in microbial diversity. The more these foods were eaten, the stronger the effect was.
However, unexpectedly, the 19 inflammatory proteins in the fiber-rich diet group did not decrease to a similar level as the fermented food group. There was no change in the diversity of the gut microbiota. It is surprising that fiber did not have a significant effect on the gut ecosystem, but it is pointed out that larger studies are needed to prove this.
There is no one-size-fits-all treatment for inflammation. However, the study suggests that eating fermented foods may fine-tune the immune system by acting on the gut ecosystem to help prevent unwanted inflammation. Such knowledge is expected to be used in the treatment of a wide range of inflammatory diseases in the future.
Reporter Lee Bo-hyun [email protected]
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