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High-fat, low-fibre diet may increase risk of sepsis: Study

Researchers have found that Western diet high in fat and sugar can put a person at increased risk of developing severe sepsis, 11th most common cause of deaths worldwide. The research, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, takes a closer look at how the Western diet affects the severity and outcome of sepsis.

Sepsis is a potentially life-threatening condition caused by the body’s response to an infection. The body normally releases chemicals into the bloodstream to fight an infection. Sepsis occurs when the body’s response to these chemicals is out of balance, triggering changes that can damage multiple organ systems. If sepsis progresses to septic shock, blood pressure drops dramatically sometimes leading to death.

Researchers from Portland State University (PSU) in the US fed mice Western diet, characterised as being low in fibre and high in fat and sugar. The mice showed an increase in chronic inflammation with sepsis severity and higher mortality rates than mice that were fed a normal diet.  The findings can help hospitals better monitor the diets of patients in the intensive care unit since they’re already the ones most likely to develop sepsis.

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