Have you ever run across an article that blows your mind by filling in connections that you were sure existed but could never put your finger on? This is one of those articles. Daily we at Sanctuary Functional see patients with autoimmune and metabolic diseases, either of which can lead to inflammation. From studying past and recent research, we know that they are linked. Statistical research has long tied diseases like Lupus or Psoriasis with increased risk of metabolic diseases like heart disease or insulin resistant diabetes.
What is the big deal about this article? These researchers have proposed a very plausible mechanism for this linkage, type 1 interferons. To keep it short, interferons are a chemical messenger for the immune system. Their interaction with receptors on other cells trigger the next step in immune processes, whether fighting an infection, or triggering autoimmunity. If this mechanism proves true, common mechanisms may lead to common therapies.
I can’t summarize the wealth of information contained in this article as it contains hours of concepts that require some chewing on, but I will leave you with the final tidbit which I found tucked away in a small section… gut dysbiosis may be playing a bidirectional role in the process. That means that gut dysbiosis, or imbalances in gut bacteria, may be a contributor and/or a victim or these immune system processes. We are so justified in treating the majority of our patients with gut protocols to heal autoimmune disease.
As always, I can’t wait to see how this research leads to real life therapies for our patients. A functional MD like myself is always on the lookout for opportunities to help our patients live healthier more abundant lives.
Ganguly, D. (2018). Do type I interferons link systemic autoimmunities and metabolic syndrome in a pathogenetic continuum? Trends in Immunology, 39(1), 28-43.