Is the Auto Immune Epidemic Linked to Processed Foods?

“The modern diet of processed foods, takeaways and microwave meals could be to blame for a sharp increase in autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, including alopecia, asthma and eczema.”… A recent study by “a team of scientists from Yale University in the U.S and the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, in Germany “is the first to indicate that excess refined and processed salt may be one of the environmental factors driving the increased incidence of autoimmune diseases.

Is the Auto Immune Epidemic Linked to Processed Foods?

Food Plays an Important Role in Controlling the Symptoms of a Chronic Autoimmune Disease as Well as a Part in it’s Development

processedfoodWhen one is diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, it’s probably a shock, but the diagnosis may explain mysterious symptoms one has been having for years.  A newly diagnosed person will probably embark on a journey of learning & lots of questions, some that can be answered & many more that cannot be explained.Lakota Nation in Pine Ridge

The typical Western/U.S. diet has a high level of sodium.  Fast food restaurants, as well as the many processed foods on grocery shelves represent the largest sources of sodium intake from refined salts.  It was found that the same fast food products sold in both the US & other countries, had considerably more salt in the US products, than those sold elsewhere.

Not only salt, but the typical processed American foods, especially snack foods, have huge amounts of sugar and fat, as well.  These three ingredients make food addictive and cheap.  The All-American companies, like Kraft & Phillip Morris, worry about being the first to make any changes in their unhealthy food.  Many of us were raised on these foods, as our families didn’t know the ingredients, and they were presumed to be healthy, or at least not unhealthy.

Processed Foods Officially Linked to Autoimmune Disease

saltfrom EatLocalGrown, by the EatLocalGrown staff, explains the likely process most clearly:

“How Refined Salt Causes Autoimmune Disease:

The team from Yale University studied the role of T helper cells in the body. These activate and ‘help’ other cells to fight dangerous pathogens such as bacteria or viruses and battle infections. Previous research suggests that a subset of these cells – known as Th17 cells – also play an important role in the development of autoimmune diseases.

In the latest study, scientists discovered that exposing these cells in a lab to a table salt solution made them act more ‘aggressively.’  They found that mice fed a diet high in refined salts saw a dramatic increase in the number of Th17 cells in their nervous systems that promoted inflammation.  They were also more likely to develop a severe form of a disease associated with multiple sclerosis in humans.

The scientists then conducted a closer examination of these effects at a molecular level.  Laboratory tests revealed that salt exposure increased the levels of cytokines released by Th17 cells 10 times more than usual. Cytokines are proteins used to pass messages between cells.

…‘These findings are an important contribution to the understanding of multiple sclerosis and may offer new targets for a better treatment of the disease, for which at present there is no cure.’ It develops when the immune system mistakes the myelin that surrounds the nerve fibres in the brain and spinal cord for a foreign body.  It strips the myelin off the nerves fibres, which disrupts messages passed between the brain and body causing problems with speech, vision and balance.
He said: ‘These are not diseases of bad genes alone or diseases caused by the environment, but diseases of a bad interaction between genes and the environment.”

Read more & read about GOOD SALTS here:  Processed Foods Officially Linked to Autoimmune Disease

It’s Best to Avoid Processed Foods, as Much as Possible!

American diets today have high salt content and that has led to increase in hypertension and perhaps autoimmune disease as well.  Everybody should limit their intake of salt, this is particularly important for people with MS.  In one study, MS patients who consumed high amounts of sodium had odds that were 3.4 times greater for developing new lesions on the brain or spinal cord.

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