Researchers from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have found a lipid naturally produced by the body is capable of reducing inflammation caused by a specific bacteria and virus.
The bacteria being studied is Francisella tularensis (tularemia), a life-threatening disease that can be difficult to diagnose. It is typically spread to humans through the bite of a tick, mosquito, or deer fly. Once a diagnosis is confirmed, the disease can be successfully treated with antibiotics.
Dengue fever is spread by mosquitoes. It is not life threatening like tularemia but there is not a specific method of treatment for it. Symptoms include severe headache and general body pain.
Both tularemia and dengue fever have a component of inflammation that scientists believe could be reduced by phosphatidylethanoloamine (PE) which is a lipid. A lipid, or fat, is a nutrient that provides the body with energy and assists with vitamin absorption. This reduction in inflammation has already been proved in cell-culture experiments.
To learn more about the study and findings, read the entire NIH press release.