In a new study, researchers discovered why obesity and depression are connected.
They found that when saturated fatty acids from a high-fat diet could enter the brain via the bloodstream.
The fat accumulation could affect crucial brain activity related to depression.
The research was led by the University of Glasgow in collaboration with the Gladstone Institutes.
The previous study has shown that obesity and depression are connected.
For example, patients with obesity are less likely to respond well to common antidepressant medication.
However, the mechanisms of how obesity affects depression and vice versa have not been fully understood.
In the current study, the team demonstrated the links between eating diets high in saturated fats that lead to obesity and the development of depression.
They also found a way to reduce symptoms of obesity-linked depression.
Doing experiments on mice, the researchers found that mice eating a fat-dense diet had an influx of dietary fatty acids in a brain region.
The region is related to the metabolic system and known to be linked with depression.
These fatty acids were then directly affected the key signaling pathways for the development of depression.
The team then found that by decreasing a specific enzyme called phosphodiesterase, the obesity-related depression can be reduced.
The new findings provide very important information for obese people.
They suggest that a high-fat diet could harm the brain and make the eater more vulnerable to depression.
This is the first study showing the direct effects a high-fat diet can have on the signaling areas of the brain related to depression.
It may begin to explain how and why obesity is linked with depression and how doctors may treat patients better.
The lead author of the study is Professor George Baillie from the University of Glasgow.
The study is published in Translational Psychiatry.
Copyright © 2019 Knowridge Science Report. All rights reserved.