In a study from the University of South Australia, scientists found that fatty foods may not only be adding to your waistline but also playing havoc with your brain.
They found a clear link between mice fed a high-fat diet for 30 weeks, resulting in diabetes, and a subsequent deterioration in their cognitive abilities, including developing anxiety, depression and worsening Alzheimer’s disease.
Mice with impaired cognitive function were also more likely to gain excessive weight due to poor metabolism caused by brain changes.
The research adds to the growing body of evidence linking chronic obesity and diabetes with Alzheimer’s disease, predicted to reach 100 million cases by 2050.
Obesity and diabetes impair the central nervous system, exacerbating psychiatric disorders and cognitive decline.
In the study, mice were randomly allocated to a standard diet or a high-fat diet for 30 weeks, starting at eight weeks of age.
Food intake, body weight and glucose levels were monitored at different intervals, along with glucose and insulin tolerance tests and cognitive dysfunction.
The mice on the high-fat diet gained a lot of weight, developed insulin resistance and started behaving abnormally compared to those fed a standard diet.
Genetically modified Alzheimer’s disease mice showed a significant deterioration of cognition and pathological changes in the brain while fed the high-fat diet.
The team says obese individuals have about a 55 percent increased risk of developing depression, and diabetes will double that risk.
These findings underline the importance of addressing the global obesity epidemic.
A combination of obesity, age and diabetes are very likely to lead to a decline in cognitive abilities, Alzheimer’s disease, and other mental health disorders.
If you care about nutrition, please read studies that blackcurrants can reduce blood sugar after meal and one avocado a day could protect you from heart disease.
For more information about nutrition, please see recent studies about supplements that could improve memory functions, and results showing a high-fiber diet could help reduce the dementia risk.
The study was conducted by Professor Xin-Fu Zhou et al and published in Metabolic Brain Disease.
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