The number of people suffering from one or more autoimmune diseases has been rising steadily over the last 40 years and researchers said one of the main causes of this rise could be the pervasiveness of fast food. Scientists James Lee and Carola Vinuesa at London’s Francis Crick Institute have said the typical Western diet also known as fast food, lacks critical nutrients, which can lead to autoimmune disorders. “Human genetics hasn’t altered over the past few decades,” said Lee, who was previously based at Cambridge University. “So something must be changing in the outside world in a way that is increasing our predisposition to autoimmune disease.”
This idea was backed by Vinuesa, who was previously based at the Australian National University. She pointed to changes in diet that were occurring as more and more countries adopted Westernstyle diets and people bought more fast food. “Fast-food diets lack certain important ingredients, such as fibre, and evidence suggests this alteration affects a person’s microbiome – the collection of micro-organisms that we have in our gut and which play a key role in controlling various bodily functions,” Vinuesa said.