Bacterial molecules discovered in processed foods could unlock key to healthier diets

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Science Daily.

“In a study of 11 healthy human volunteers, adherence to the specially designed low PAMP diet for just one week caused a significant 18% reduction in LDL (bad) cholesterol and an 11% reduction in white blood cell count. Volunteers also lost weight (on average 0.6 kg) and their waist circumference was reduced (average 1.5 cm), during the low PAMP diet. These are key risk factors for coronary artery disease and Type II diabetes,” according to Dr Clett Erridge, University of Leicester.

Our favourite foods could be made healthier thanks to a new technique developed by the University of Leicester which has identified harmful bacterial molecules in certain processed foods such as burgers and ready meals.

The study identifies a particular kind of contaminating molecule known as ‘pathogen-associated molecular patterns’ (PAMPs), which are released by certain types of bacteria as they grow during some food processing and refrigeration processes, and may increase our risk of developing conditions such as coronary artery disease and Type 2 diabetes.

PAMPs are undetectable in non-processed and fresh foods, suggesting that they develop during the manufacturing process.

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