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 “Soluble fibre changes the personality of immune cells-they go from being pro-inflammatory, angry cells to anti-inflammatory, healing cells that help us recover faster from infection,” said Gregory Freund, a professor in the U of I’s College of Medicine and a faculty member in the College of Agriculture, Consumer and Environmental Sciences’ Division of Nutritional Sciences.
 This happens because soluble fibre causes increased production of an anti-inflammatory protein called interleukin-4, he said.
 In the experiment, laboratory mice consumed low-fat diets that were identical except that they contained either soluble or insoluble fibre. After six weeks on the diet, the animals had distinctly different responses when the scientists induced illness by introducing a substance (lipopolysaccharide) that causes the body to mimic a bacterial infection.
 “Two hours after lipopolysaccharide injection, the mice fed soluble fibre were only half as sick as the other group, and they recovered 50 percent sooner. And the differences between the groups continued to be pronounced all the way out to 24 hours,” said Christina Sherry, who also worked on the study.

Bone loss drugs may cut breast cancer risk
Some types of pills commonly used to treat brittle bones may reduce the risk of breast cancer, according to a new study.
The study, published in the British Journal of Cancer, found that women who used bisphosphonate drugs, such as Fosamax, Boniva and Zomita, for more than two years had a nearly 40 percent reduction in risk as compared to those who did not, according to lead author Polly Newcomb, PhD, MPH, head of the Cancer Prevention Program at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Centre.
The protective effect was observed only among women who were not obese. “Obese women may have elevated estrogen levels, so underlying hormones may influence the ability of bisphosphonates to reduce breast cancer risk,” Newcomb said.

Exercise defies negative effects of weight regain
Regaining weight is very detrimental to health but a new study suggests that exercise can counter those negative effects.
In the study, individuals who didn’t exercise during weight regain experienced significant deterioration in metabolic health, while those who exercised maintained improvements in almost all areas.
“Although many people are successful at losing weight through diet and exercise, the majority of them will relapse and regain the weight,” study’s lead author Tom R Thomas, professor in the Department of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology in the College of Human Environmental Sciences, said.
“The findings of this study indicate that regaining weight is very detrimental; however, exercise can counter those negative effects. The findings support the recommendation to continue exercising after weight loss, even if weight is regained,” he added.

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