Obesity Weakens the Immune System

Most obese people have a hard time fighting infections. Several studies e have found that obese people are more likely to have gum disease than non-obese people. Gum disease is caused by bacteria, which causes inflammation and destruction of the bone underlying teeth.

In a study that compared the immune reactions by mice that were infected with the bacteria Porphyromonas gingivalis, researchers found that obese mice have less ability to fight off the infection than normal mice. In obese mice, the infections took much longer to clear and the wound took much longer to heal. Researchers also examined the white blood cells, which are the main line of defense against infection. The white cells of obese mice had lower levels of an important signaling molecule, and some of the genes that fight inflammation were altered. The obese mice had a compromised immune response to the bacteria, which made the them more susceptible to the infection.

Our health is often the reflection of the state of our immune system. Can you live a healthy life with all the extra weight? When was the last time you came across an obese individual who was very healthy? It is no surprise the unhealthiness of being overweight or obese results from a compromised immune system.

Given all the infectious diseases caused by bacteria and viruses, being obese not only put the obese individuals in danger, but also people around them because the likelihood their carrying and spreading of the infectious agents.