Research carried in mice shows that the food additive tBHQ (tert-butylhydroquinone)—which is found in common inventions from frozen meat to fried foods—holds back the immune reaction the body frames when fighting the flu. Additionally, to increase the harshness of flu symptoms, the research discovered proof that tBHQ encounter can lower the effectiveness of the flu vaccine via its effects on T cells, which is an important component of the immune system. Scientists say the association might aid in explaining why seasonal influenza persists to pose a main health threat across the globe. An estimated 290,000–650,000 population worldwide dies from flu-related respiratory issues each year. Robert Freeborn—from MSU (Michigan State University)—said, “Our studies demonstrated that mice on a tBHQ diet have a poor immune reaction to influenza infection. In our mouse prototype, tBHQ repressed the role of two types of T cells, killer and helper T cells. Eventually, this caused more serious symptoms throughout a subsequent influenza infection.”
Freeborn would present the study during the ASPET’s (American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics) annual summit. When an individual is affected with influenza virus, helper T cells head other parts of the immune arrangement and assist coordinate a suitable response, whereas, killer T cells pursue infected cells and wipe out them from the body. During their trials, the scientists discovered mice consuming a tBHQ-spiked diet were slow to trigger killer T cells and helper T cells, resulting in a slow wipeout of the virus.
On a similar note, recently, researchers reviewed influenza vaccine research development and opportunities. In a novel series of articles, expertise in virology, immunology, vaccine development, and epidemiology, detail attempts to advance seasonal influenza vaccines and eventually build up a universal influenza vaccine. Scientists from the NIAID (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases)—which is part of the NIH (National Institutes of Health) conducted the study.