Are you the kind of person that doesn’t eat green vegetables? You might consider changing your eating pattern. Green vegetables help boost the body’s immune system, protecting it against infections, a new study suggests.
Researchers at the Babraham Institute in Cambridge, England, fed laboratory mice with different vegetable-based diets. After doing so, they found that the mice that had a low intake of green vegetables had more bacteria piled up in their guts than the mice that ate plenty of vegetables.
“If the mice do not eat their green, the immune cells in the intestines die,” the study’s lead author, Marc Veldhoen, from the Babraham Institute in Cambridge said. “That a dietary factor can directly influence cells within the immune system came as a complete surprise to us.”
“After feeding otherwise healthy mice a vegetable-poor diet for two to three weeks, I was amazed to see that 70 to 80 percent of these protective cells disappeared,” Veldhoen added.
While previous epidemiological studies have indicated that the development of Inflammatory bowel disease in mice can be linked to a low vegetable intake, more studies and controlled human trial will be required to completely establish the link in humans, Veldhoen said.
Source: Cell Journal
Ying Li, Silvia Innocentin, David R. Withers, Natalie A. Roberts, Alec R. Gallagher, Elena F. Grigorieva, Christoph Wilhelm, & Marc Veldhoen (2011). Exogenous Stimuli Maintain Intraepithelial Lymphocytes via Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor Activation Cell