We all know that inflammation is the root cause of all lifestyle diseases. Now, researchers at Yale School of Medicine have found that a compound produced by the body when dieting or fasting can block a part of the immune system involved in several inflammatory disorders. In their study, published in the Feb. 16 online issue of Nature Medicine, the researchers described how the compound β-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) directly inhibits NLRP3, which is part of a complex set of proteins called the inflammasome. The inflammasome drives the inflammatory response in several disorders including autoimmune diseases, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, atherosclerosis, and autoinflammatory disorders.
“Our results suggest that the endogenous metabolites like BHB that are produced during low-carb dieting, fasting, or high-intensity exercise can lower the NLRP3 inflammasome,” said Vishwa Deep Dixit, professor in the Section of Comparative Medicine at Yale School of Medicine. The findings are very significant as calorie restriction has always been seen as a way to control inflammation and this study only proves that eating 30% less that “required” translates to a lower disease rate as we age.