Endotoxemia, characterized by an excess of circulating bacterial wall lipopolysaccharide, is associated with systemic inflammation and the metabolic syndrome. Placing 8 healthy subjects on a Western-style diet for 1 month induced a 71% increase in plasma levels of endotoxin activity (endotoxemia), whereas a prudent-style diet reduced levels by 31%. The Western-style diet might, therefore, contribute to endotoxemia by causing changes in gastrointestinal barrier function or the composition of the microbiota. Endotoxemia might also develop in individuals with gastrointestinal barrier impairment. Therapeutic reagents that reduce endotoxemia might reduce systemic inflammation in patients with gastrointestinal diseases or metabolic syndrome.
Copyright © 2012 AGA Institute. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.