Study: High-Fat Diets Bad for Mind as well as Body
A recent Yale study has discovered that high-fat diets contribute to irregularities in the hypothalamus region of the brain, which regulates body weight homeostasis and metabolism, meaning high-fat diets have mental as well as physical negative effects.
The study evaluated how the consumption of a high-fat diet – specifically diets that include high amounts of fats and carbohydrates – stimulate hypothalamic inflammation, a physiological response to obesity and malnutrition.
The researchers reaffirmed that inflammation occurs in the hypothalamus as early as three days after consumption of a high-fat diet, even before the body begins to display signs of obesity.
The researchers observed hypothalamic inflammation in animals on a high-fat diet and discovered that changes in physical structure were occurring among the microglial cells of animals.
These cells act as the first line of defense in the central nervous system that regulates inflammation.
The study not only illustrates how high-fat diets affect us physically, but conveys how an unhealthy diet can alter our food intake neurologically.
Researchers said: “There are specific brain mechanisms that get activated when we expose ourselves to specific type of foods. This is a mechanism that may be important from an evolutionary point of view. However, when food rich in fat and carbs is constantly available it is detrimental.”