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Western Diet Likely To Enhance Severity Of Sepsis

Sepsis, more commonly known as blood poisoning is a hazardous condition which emerges from an infection. It happens when the immune response starts to harm the tissues and organs. Sepsis has been found to be the major cause of death in the US.

As per the studies by the Centers for Disease control and Prevention (CDC), about 1.7 Million US adults get sepsis every year and the death rate is approximately 270,000. This accounts for the fact that 1 in 3 hospital deaths is due to sepsis.

Sepsis is becoming more common and people aged 60 above are found to be the most vulnerable. The sad fact about sepsis is that experts fail to explain why it occurs in some people and not the others. It is also difficult to predict their severity. This makes it all the more important to find an effective prevention method.

However a recent study has found that diet could be a means to predict the severity of sepsis cases. To carry out the research, an equivalent of western diet was provided to mice. This was a high fat, high sugar diet low in fiber. Another set of mice were given standard food. They inferred that inflammation levels were high in those fed with western diet. These findings cement the previous studies which found that the inflammation caused by western diet affects the circulatory system, brain and the lower digestive system. Serious cases of sepsis were reported in mice fed with western diet. Western diet had been blamed for its risk of causing vascular and diabetes. Now sepsis comes as an addition to this list.

Brooke Napier, Senior author and assistant biology professor, said that the western diet had an impact on the immune cell functioning which made them more susceptible to sepsis and eventually caused death. He further explained that these studies provided a link between western diet and the risk of sepsis and eventual death and hence the patients in the ICU must be properly fed with food in right concentration of fats.

Certain biomarkers had also been described that can help predict high risk people. Researchers are now trying to find out if it is the fat element in the western diet that is to be blamed, so that people taking other high fat diets like ketogenic diet and Atkins-related diet can be warned. This becomes important as their popularity is increasing day by day.