How Fatty Foods May Damage Your Brain
The post-Thanksgiving gluttony guilt that you may be experiencing today may need to be extended beyond your waistline.
That’s because a study published in the journal Brain, Behavior and Immunity suggests a high-fat diet destroys synapses -- connections that aid communication between neurons, or brain cells -- in the hippocampus of the brain, which may impair learning and memory.
Researchers randomized male mice to one of two diet groups: One group was fed a diet in which around 10 percent of calories came from saturated fat, while the other group was fed meals that contained 60 percent fat.
After 12 weeks, the mice fed a high-fat diet had not only become obese, but they also had reduced levels of synaptic markers and increased cytokine levels, indicating that synapses were being destroyed in the hippocampus.
Fortunately, it may be reversible. The team swapped half of the mice on the high-fat diet to the low-fat diet to see how this affected their brains. They found that synaptic loss and function were restored among those that switched to the low-fat diet.
The average American consumes about 4,500 calories and 229 grams of fat during a typical holiday meal.
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