Leafy Greens May Help in Controlling Food Allergies, Inflammatory Disease, and Obesity

Fresh Swiss chard

Fresh Swiss chard (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Mom always said to eat your greens because they’re good for you; but even Mom in all her wisdom didn’t know how good for you greens are. A research team from the UK and Australia have found that the proteins in green leafy vegetables interact with a cell surface receptor that switches on T-bet, a gene that creates a subset of  innate lymphoid cells (ILC). These cells protect the body against infections that enter through the digestive system.

ILCs generate the hormone interleukin-22 (IL-22), which protects the body from bacteria. If gene T-bet isn’t present, the body is more vulnerable to bacterial infections that find their way in through the digestive system. The researchers concluded that increasing ILCs may aid in the treatment of these bacterial infections.

In addition,  ILCs promote good bacteria and heal small wounds and abrasions that are often found in the tissues of the gut. They may also help in curing cancerous lesions. The researchers noted that science is just beginning to understand how important ILCs are in regulating allergy and inflammation, and how they impact bowel cancer and gastrointestinal diseases such as Crohn’s disease.

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~ by chasm63 on March 4, 2013.

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