Published on December 14th, 2012 | by No Artificial
High-Fat Diet Linked To Anxiety and Chemical Brain Changes
Based on the latest study in mice, it appears that eating a high fat diet can change the brain chemistry.
Researchers from the University of Montreal discovered that mice fed diets high in fat and sugar had different chemical activity in their brains and showed more signs of withdrawal if they stopped eating it, compared with those fed more healthy foods.
“The chemicals changed by the diet are associated with depression,” study researcher Dr. Stephanie Fulton reported in a statement. “A change of diet then causes withdrawal symptoms and a greater sensitivity to stressful situations, launching a vicious cycle of poor eating.”
The research, published in the International Journal of Obesity, included adult male mice that were placed on a high-fat diet (58% kcal fat) or ingredient-matched, low-fat diet (11% kcal fat) for 6 weeks.
By the end of the research, those fed the high-fat diet experienced an 11% increase in waist size.
Researchers have also found that the mice fed the high-fat diet were more anxious at the end of the study, and also had higher levels of the CREB molecule, which is known to play a role in dopamine production (dopamine is associated with positive emotions, activation of the reward system, and sets in motion the neural circuits for motivation).
“CREB is much more activated in the brains of higher-fat diet mice and these mice also have higher levels of corticosterone, a hormone that is associated with stress. This explains both the depression and the negative behavior cycle,” Fulton stated in the statement.
“It’s interesting that these changes occur before obesity. These findings challenge our understanding of the relationship between diet, the body and the mind,” Fulton added.
International Journal of Obesity