Fat for thought

By Sarah Harvey

Fat for thought
Don't be afraid of fat. Incorporating good fats into your diet is essential to maintaining proper health and wellbeing.

Plant-based fats, typically found in fibre-rich diets, could help protect against flare-ups of autoimmune diseases, such as multiple sclerosis and some forms of arthritis, according to new research by German scientists. The team compared in mice the effects of short-chain fatty acids, which are solely metabolised by gut bacteria and are typically found in fibre-rich diets, with the effects of long-chain fatty acids, the most abundant component of western diets. They found that long-chain fatty acids, or plant-based fats, promoted the development and release of cells which helped inflammation from the intestinal wall to other areas in the body, including the brain.

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