A high-fat diet and fatty foods can negatively affect a person’s behavior, but can also lead to obesity and heart diseases. A new study suggests that foods rich in fat can increase the risk for psychiatric disorders.
The new research, which was published in the Biological Psychiatry journal, shows that a high-fat diet can cause significantl changes in a bacteria named microbiome, which is found in the gut.
According to Time, scientists from the Louisiana State University explained that the changes in a body’s microbiome can lead to an increased susceptibility to an range of mental illnesses and changing behavior,
“This paper suggests that high-fat diets impair brain health, in part, by disrupting the symbiotic relationship between humans and the microorganisms that occupy our gastrointestinal tracks,” said Dr. John Krystal in an interview for Science Daily.
The researchers carried out experiments on non-obese adult mice which were regularly fed non-fatty foods. The normal mice group then got a gut microbiota transplant from mice that were fed a high-fat diet as well as other controlled diets.
The scientists observed the behavior of the mice after the transplant and an study was conducted to analyze any changes, among them being cognitive abilities. Scientists from the Louisiana State University discovered that the mice who were transplanted with microbiota displayed several anomalies in their behavior. These mice had incresead anxiety attacks, repetitive behaviors and also impaired memory.
The microbiota had other negative effects to the mice, including permeability of their intestines and increased inflammation markers, according to Science World Report. The study concluded that the bacteria which was affected by fatty food caused the mice to develop an inflammation in their brain.
The study revealed evidence that the mutations in the microbiome can affect a person’s brain function and behavior even if the person is not overweight or obese.
Even though additional research is needed to discover the direct cause as to why changes in the microbiome can also affect behavior, all of these findings highlight link serious mental health problems with diets rich in fat. The cause of the mental disturbances is independent of the psychological struggle that obese persons can be submitted to.
The research team added that it’s possible their study shows a potential application of the gut microbiome to treat psychiatric disorders.
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