Fat-rich diet might trigger depression and impaired memory risk

High-fat diet is harmful for health as it leads to obesity that is the root of several other diseases including cardiovascular problems, diabetes, everyone knows it. However, a new research has revealed something that will blow your mind. According to the study, high-fat diet food can degrade your brain and cause cognitive impairment by telling immune cells in the brain to gobble up connections between neurons.

However, it was also found that reversing to the controlled low-fat diet for just two months stopped the brain degradation or shrinking of cognitive ability as the victim starts to lose weight. “Microglia eating synapses is contributing to synapse loss and cognitive impairment in obesity,” said corresponding author Alexis M Stranahan, from the Medical College of Georgia in the US. “Normally in the brain, microglia are constantly moving around. What happens in obesity is they stop moving,” Stranahan said. “They draw in all their processes; they basically just sit there and start eating synapses. When microglia start eating synapses, the mice don’t learn as effectively.”

Researchers conducted the study over two groups of mice. First group was given diet in which saturated fat constituted about 10 percent of the total calories while the second group was fed with chow that was 60 percent fat. Scientists measured weight, food intake, insulin and glucose levels at four, eight and 12 weeks. In addition to metabolic measurements, researchers also observed brain functioning like memory, centre of learning, levels of synaptic markers, etc.

After 12 weeks, researchers switched from high-fat diet to low-fat diet for the mice in the first group. Mice started to lose the weight after a period of two months and mice who were high-fat diet constantly continued to lose synapses. It is the first study of its kind that has linked fat with cognitive impairment. The study was conducted on a small scale and a larger study is required along with human trials to confirm the findings.

The study was published in the journal Brain, Behaviour, and Immunity.

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