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Green Vegetables Are Found To Be Very Important For The Immune System

October 13, 2011: 12:00 AM EST
British researchers have discovered one of the key reasons why green vegetables are so beneficial: they are the source of a chemical signal important to a fully functioning immune system. The signal ensures that immune cells in the gut and the skin known as intra-epithelial lymphocytes (IELs) function properly. The researchers fed otherwise healthy mice a vegetable-poor diet for two to three weeks and found that 70 to 80 percent of the protective cells disappeared. The numbers of IELs serving as a first line of defense and in wound repair depend on levels of a cell-surface protein that is regulated by dietary ingredients found primarily in cruciferous vegetables.
Ying Li, et al., "Exogenous Stimuli Maintain Intraepithelial Lymphocytes via Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor Activation", Cell, October 13, 2011, © Elsevier Inc.
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