Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.


Fiber-poor Western diets fuel inflammation

A Publisher Correction to this article was published on 26 April 2021

A Publisher Correction to this article was published on 04 March 2021

This article has been updated

The transition of Sub-Saharan Africans from rural settings and traditional plant-rich diets to urban settings and calorie-dense Westernized diets has led to specific shifts in serum metabolites and activates a heightened proinflammatory state in immune cells.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Fig. 1: Differences in diet cause changes in serum metabolites between rural and urban dwellers, influencing the magnitude of their inflammatory responses.

Change history


  1. United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs. World Urbanization Prospects: The 2018 Revision. (United Nations, 2019);

  2. Ng, S. C. et al. Gut 62, 630–649 (2013).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Tan, J. K., McKenzie, C., Mariño, E., Macia, L. & Mackay, C. R. Annu. Rev. Immunol. 35, 371–402 (2017).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  4. Temba, G. S. et al. Nat. Immunol. (2021).

  5. Burkitt, D. P. Proc. Nutr. Soc. 32, 145–149 (1973).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  6. Christ, A. et al. Cell 172, 162–175.e14 (2018).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. Napier, B. A. et al. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 116, 3688–3694 (2019).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  8. Gouda, H. N. et al. Lancet Glob. Health 7, e1375–e1387 (2019).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. De Filippo, C. et al. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 107, 14691–14696 (2010).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Zeng, H., Umar, S., Rust, B., Lazarova, D. & Bordonaro, M. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 20, 1214 (2019).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  11. OʼKeefe, S. J. D. et al. Nat. Commun. 6, 6342 (2015).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Maleki, S. J., Crespo, J. F. & Cabanillas, B. Food Chem. 299, 125124 (2019).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Cathryn R. Nagler.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

C.R.N. is the president and cofounder of ClostraBio, Inc.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Patry, R.T., Nagler, C.R. Fiber-poor Western diets fuel inflammation. Nat Immunol 22, 266–268 (2021).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing