FEB 10, 2016 7:21 PM PST

Processed Food, PAMPs, and You

WRITTEN BY: Kerry Evans
PAMPs in processed food may be making you sick.

Pathogen-associated molecular patterns, or PAMPs, are molecules associated with bacteria, viruses, and fungi that are recognized by the immune system.  Common PAMPs are lipopolysaccharide, flagella proteins, and double-stranded DNA.   These PAMPs bind Toll-like receptors (TLRs) that are produced by macrophages and dendritic cells.  TLRs then activate the immune system to fight off the invading pathogen.
 
Processed foods contain inflammatory PAMPs.

A University of Leicester study identified a link between PAMPs, processed food, and conditions like coronary artery disease and type 2 diabetes.  According to study author Clett Erridge, “in essence, we have discovered that contaminating molecules that arise in processed foods from the overgrowth of a specific type of bacteria during refrigeration or food processing can cause our immune systems to over-react in a manner that might be damaging to health when we eat foods containing these molecules”.

In the study, 11 healthy participants followed a low-PAMP diet.  After one week, their “bad” LDL cholesterol decreased by 18% and their white blood cell count (an indicator of inflammation) decreased by 11%.  On top of that, the participants lost an average of 0.6 kg and slimmed down their waistlines by 1.5 cm.  

Erridge and colleagues hope to find a way to decrease PAMPs in processed foods, without altering the taste or quality.  Until then, think twice when reaching for that cheese, chocolate, or pre-made frozen meal.  Go for fresh foods instead!
 

Source: University of Leicester, Wikipedia
About the Author
  • Kerry received a doctorate in microbiology from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.
You May Also Like
JUN 01, 2020
Genetics & Genomics
Vaping Increases Oral Disease Risk After Only a Few Months
JUN 01, 2020
Vaping Increases Oral Disease Risk After Only a Few Months
E-cigarettes have emerged as a healthier alternative to smoking, but many studies have suggested that vaping still poses ...
JUN 09, 2020
Microbiology
Bacteria Will Commit Suicide to Spare Their Colony
JUN 09, 2020
Bacteria Will Commit Suicide to Spare Their Colony
In nature, strains of bacteria usually grow in colonies, and together, they are tougher.
JUN 22, 2020
Cell & Molecular Biology
Viruses Can Create New Genes By Stealing Bits of Human DNA
JUN 22, 2020
Viruses Can Create New Genes By Stealing Bits of Human DNA
When viruses infect cells, they hijack the machinery inside and start to use it for their own purposes. This enables vir ...
JUN 24, 2020
Neuroscience
Prenatal Stress May Influence Infant Gut Bacteria
JUN 24, 2020
Prenatal Stress May Influence Infant Gut Bacteria
Although prenatal stress has previously been associated with infant growth and development, exactly how they are linked ...
JUL 05, 2020
Microbiology
Stimulating Antibiotic Production in Bacteria
JUL 05, 2020
Stimulating Antibiotic Production in Bacteria
The microorganisms of the world have to compete for survival, and they sometimes do battle with one another. Some use an ...
JUL 27, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
Cobalt-doped titanium-dioxide stops the reproduction of listeria monocytogenes
JUL 27, 2020
Cobalt-doped titanium-dioxide stops the reproduction of listeria monocytogenes
Scientists suggest adding cobalt-doped titanium-dioxide (CoO-TiO2) to foods in order to prevent the spread of listeria, ...
Loading Comments...