Fast-food breakfasts inflame blood vessels

Fast-food breakfasts inflame blood vessels

A breakfast of eggs, muffins, and hash browns at a fast-food chain may taste good, but its high-fat, high-carbohydrate content wreaks havoc in the body’s blood vessels, University at Buffalo (N.Y.) endocrinologists have found.

“Eating that 900-calorie, high-fat meal temporarily floods the bloodstream with inflammatory components, overwhelming the body’s natural inflammation-fighting mechanisms,” cautions Ahmad Aljada, research assistant professor in the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.

Research shows that levels of inflammatory factors remained high for three-to-four hours after the high-fat meal. Individuals “who experience repeated short-lived bouts of inflammation resulting from many such unhealthy meals can end up with blood vessels in a chronic state of inflammation, a primary factor in the development of atherosclerosis. However, we’ve also shown … that a breakfast containing the same number of calories but derived mostly from fruit and fiber doesn’t promote the inflammatory effect.”

Researchers hypothesize that the influx of macronutrients (calories, fat, protein, carbohydrates, and water) may alter cell behavior and activate genes to produce more powerful enzymes and mediators that potentially are more damaging to the lining of bleed vessels. “The magnitude of this acute and transient effect is dependent on the type of macronutrient and may lead eventually to a chronic proinflammatory and pro-oxidative state, as seen in obesity,” maintains Aljada. “This, in turn, leads to several medical complications.”

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