Fatty diets 'behind rise in asthma'

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hamburgerFatty diets could be responsible for the increase in the number of people suffering from asthma, Australian scientists say.

Researchers at the Sydney-based Garvan Institute have found a link between dietary fats and the immune system, News Limited newspapers report.

They believe this could be the connection to a rise in inflammatory conditions such as asthma, which doubled between 1985 and 2001.

"We have shown that a fatty acid binding molecule that normally just has a role in metabolism and fat cells is playing a critical role in immune responses," the institute's immunology program director, Professor Charles Mackay, told News Limited.

"We are mystified as to why a molecule plays one role in one cell and another in a completely different system.

"But it shows important connections that we don't yet understand about the immune system and metabolism and the nervous system."

Tests showed that by genetically removing this molecule from mice, the animals did not suffer inflammatory conditions.

Professor Mackay said the type of diet could affect the immune system and lead to the increase in inflammatory diseases.

source - AAP