Elderly people, who consume a high-fat diet rich in Omega-6 fatty acids, could be at risk of developing health issues ranging from diabetes to heart failure, researchers, including one Indian-origin, said in a study.
The study conducted on a mice model showed that a calorie-dense, obesity-generating diet in ageing mice disrupted the composition of the gut microbiome.
Young mice, who were fed an obesity-generating diet were able to resolve inflammation after a heart attack, even though their gut microflora had already been altered by the diet.
In contrast, in aged mice fed the obesity-generating diet, the heart attack triggered non-resolving inflammation -- associated with heart failure.
The study, published in FASEB Journal, investigated how ageing and omega 6-enriched diet impact microflora in the gut, the structure and function of the spleen (abdominal organ), and a subsequent immune response to heart attack.
"This study highlights that diet and age are critical factors that have differential impact with age, and it highlights the spleen and heart as an inter-organ communication system with the immune defence system," said Ganesh Halade, Associate Professor at the University of Alabama.
The team found that obesity-generating diet increased the proportion of neutrophils in the blood of aged-mice.
Higher neutrophil counts means that you have an infection or are under a lot of stress.
The obesity-generating diet in eldery also led to structural deformities in mice spleens.
The spleen, a secondary immune organ, is a known reservoir for leukocytes that move to the heart to begin tissue repair and help resolve inflammation in case of an heart attack.