Scientists throughout the world are considering the effects of weight gain upon human system. Yes, human system is like any other machine that has to be taken care of for running smoothly. Undue variations lead to some or the other problems in this system that heralds the onset of deadly diseases.
This is the reason obesity is included in the syndrome-X of twenty first century that comprises of diabetes, hypertension, and hypercholesterolemia. Till recently it was thought that faulty nutrition leads to deviated immune responses and frequent allergies or infections. However, the recent studies and researches have made it clear that even excess weight is linked to reduce immune responses and recurrent infections. Though exact mechanism why it happens is still not clear, scientists are able to tell us some basic concepts about obesity and reduced immune responses. Let’s see what they are:
(1) Obesity leads to reduced cell-mediated and humoral immunity. They evidently show reduced resistance to bacterial as well as viral infections.
(2) Also it is evident that the severity of bacterial as well as viral infections is much higher in obese individuals and they take more time responding to treatment than their leaner counterparts.
(3) Obesity is also a factor that causes delayed wound healing. This is also attributed to reduced immunocompetence of obese individuals.
(4) Even the obese individuals show poor antibody response to hepatitis B vaccinations.
(5) Not only obesity is related to impaired immune function but certain diets also lead to altered immune responses. It is seen that short term low-calorie diets enhance immune responses; however, low-calorie diets over longer period result in impaired lymphocyte and phagocytic functions.
(6) It is seen that gum diseases or tooth decays are also observed more in obese individuals due to their reduced immune responses to oral bacteria.
(7) Weight reduction surgery enhances the immune responses positively in the initial period.
Thus, from the above mentioned data from scientific researches says that obesity is related to impaired immunity in people of all ages. We obviously require more studies in this regard to substantiate these claims!