There are many health reasons for losing weight. And even a modest weight loss can do a world of good. If you need a little extra motivation to lose your first 10 pounds, how about the fact that Australian researchers think that it could boost your immune system.
Factors, such as diet and excess body fat, may alter the balance of immune system cells that help protect the body from foreign invaders, such as germs and viruses.
In the study, researchers studied obese people with type 2 diabetes or prediabetes. They were limited to a diet of 1,000 to 1,600 calories a day for 24 weeks. There were also gastric bands used after 12 weeks, which restrict how much food the stomach will hold.
What they found was an 80 percent reduction in the number of pro-inflammatory immune cells that were produced. And when the person lost 13 pounds, the levels of pro-inflammatory cells was as low as that found in lean people.
Experts have known for quite some time that excess body fat, and especially abdominal fat, triggers the production of immune cells that promote inflammation.