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Bacteria-immune system 'fight' can lead to chronic diseases, study suggests

Results from a study conducted at Georgia State University suggest that a "fight" between bacteria normally living in the intestines and the immune system, kicked off by another type of bacteria, may be linked to two types of chronic disease.

The study suggests that the "fight" continues after the instigator bacteria have been cleared by the body, according to Andrew Gewirtz, professor of biology at the GSU Center for Inflammation, Immunity and Infection. That fight can result in metabolic syndrome, an important factor in obesity, or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

"The implication at present is that it is very important to control the early environment," Gewirtz said. "We need to examine how this can be achieved ā€“ perhaps via breastfeeding, a more diverse diet, probiotics are possibilities."

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