ScienceDaily: Long-term high-fat diet shrinks brain and expands waistline — Science Daily


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Research has shown that fats can not only increase your waistline, but also cause brain damage.

UniSA neuroscientists, Professor Xin Fu Zhou, and Associate Professor Larisa Robertskaya conducted an international study that found a direct link between mice who were fed high-fat foods for 30 weeks and diabetes. This led to a deterioration of cognitive abilities and anxiety.

Mice with impaired cognitive function were more likely to gain excess weight because of poor metabolism due to brain changes.

Researchers from Australia as well as China published their findings in Metabolic brain disease.

Associate Professor Larisa Brovskaya (UniSA Neuroscientist and Biochemist) says the research contributes to growing evidence linking chronic obesity and diabetics with Alzheimer’s Disease. The number of cases is predicted to exceed 100 million by 2050.

“Obesity or diabetes can impair the central nervous systems, which can lead to cognitive decline and psychiatric disorders. This was demonstrated in our study using mice,” Assoc Prof Bobrovskaya said.

For 30 weeks, the mice were randomly assigned to either a high-fat or standard diet, beginning at 8 weeks old. At different times, food intake, body weight, glucose levels, and glucose tolerance were all monitored.

The high-fat diet resulted in mice gaining a lot more weight, developing insulin resistance and starting to behave differently than those on a normal diet.

The high-fat diet was genetically modified to cause Alzheimer’s disease in mice. They showed significant cognitive decline and brain pathological changes.

According to Assoc Prof Bobrovskaya, obese people have a 55% higher chance of developing depression. Diabetes will double that risk.

“Our findings emphasize the importance of addressing global obesity epidemic. The combination of obesity, diabetes and age will lead to cognitive decline, Alzheimer’s and other mental disorders.


MaterialsProvided by University of South Australia. Notice: Style and length may be changed.


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