Older adults consuming high-fat diet at risk of heart disease, diabetes

Washington: According to a recent study, elderly people, who consume a high-fat diet rich in Omega-6 fatty acids, could be at risk of developing health issues ranging from diabetes to heart failure.

The results of the study were published in the ‘FASEB Journal’.

Ganesh Halade and colleagues investigated how aging and an obesity-generating omega 6-enriched diet impact microflora in the gut, the structure, and function of the spleen, and subsequent immune response to heart attack, using a mice model.

The researchers reported that a calorie-dense, obesity-generating diet in aging mice disrupted the composition of the gut microbiome, and that correlated with the development of a system-wide non
resolving inflammation in acute heart failure, with disruptions of the immune cell profile.

It is known that diet interacts with gut microbes to calibrate the body’s immune defense capacity. The researchers examined this further, with regard to aging and a high-fat diet.

They found that the obesity-generating diet caused a sharp increase in bacteria belonging to the genus Allobaculum, phylum Firmicutes. The obesity-generating diet also increased the proportion of neutrophils in the blood of young mice. In aged mice, a similar increase in the proportion of neutrophils was found for both old mice fed a standard diet and old mice fed the obesity-generating diet.

Halade and colleagues found that the obesity-generating diet and aging led to neutrophil swarming and an altered leukocyte profile after a heart attack.

Importantly, young mice fed the obesity-generating diet were able to resolve inflammation after a heart attack, even though their gut microflora had already been altered by the diet. In contrast, in aged mice fed the obesity-generating diet, the heart attack triggered non-resolving inflammation. Such inflammation is associated with heart failure.

“Thus, the data strongly indicate that the obesity-generating diet develops an inflammatory microenvironment, even in young mice, that amplifies with aging. This study highlights that diet and age are critical factors that have the differential impact with age, and it highlights the spleen and heart as an inter-organ communication system with the immune defense system,” Halade concluded.