Diet high in fat and sugar linked to higher severe sepsis risk

A study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences examined the association between Western diets, which are typically high in fat and sugar, and the risk of developing severe sepsis.

Researchers conducted a mouse model study, in which mice were given a diet high in fat and sugar and low in fiber.

The study shows the mice experienced an increase in chronic inflammation, sepsis severity and mortality rates as compared to mice who were given normal diets.

"The mice's immune system on the Western diet looked and functioned differently," said Brooke Napier, PhD, an assistant biology professor at Portland (Ore.) State College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, and lead investigator. "It looks like the diet is manipulating immune cell function so that you're more susceptible to sepsis, and then when you get sepsis, you die quicker."

Dr. Napier also said results of the study could help hospitals supervise the diets of patients in the intensive care unit.

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