High-Fat Diet Affects Not Only Your Figure, but Also Your Brain

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Many previous studies proved that a high-fat diet can lead to obesity, but few explored how a diet can affect your brain.



A recent Yale study published in Aging Cell, however, has discovered that high-fat diets can lead to neurological changes in the brain.


About the study


In the study, the researchers observed if high-fat diets can cause irregularities in the hypothalamus region of the brain in animals. The hypothalamus is a small but important area in the center of the brain. It plays an important role in hormone production and helps maintain a balanced bodily state.



Just three days after consumption of a high-fat diet, the researchers found inflammation in the hypothalamus of the animal, even before the body began to display signs of obesity.


"We were intrigued by the fact that these are very fast changes that occur even before the body weight changes, and we wanted to understand the underlying cellular mechanism," said Sabrina Diano, the leader of the study.


The underlying mechanism


When inflammation occurred in the hypothalamus region of the animals, the physical structure of their microglial cells also changed. These cells regulate inflammation in the first place.



The changes of microglial cells were due to a protein, Uncoupling Protein 2 (UCP2), which regulates the function of mitochondria — the elements of cells which turn the food into energy.


The researchers found that UCP2 stimulated the animals on the high-fat diet to eat more and become obese. However, when removing the UCP2 protein from microglia, animals exposed to a high-fat diet ate less and were resistant to gain weight.


This mechanism shows that high-fat diets not only affect people physically, but also alter food intake neurologically.



"This is a mechanism that may be important from an evolutionary point of view. However, when food rich in fat and carbs is constantly available, it is detrimental," said Sabrina Diano, the leader of the study.

10 Answers

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Can you post the link to or at least the name of the study you used in this "article?"
The findings were published in Aging Cell. The study name is "Reversal of epigenetic aging and immunosenescent trends in humans."
It’s not the fat as much as it’s the carbs bread pasta rice sand so on. We need fat for our brains and after being on a low carb high fat diet I’ve lost weight and my energy is up and I’m sleeping better than I have in years. And my blood work is perfect.  Prove me wrong.
I knew it.
Ketogenic diet is TRULY WONDERFUL
The reaction in the body is very fast. This means when you are obese, the negative changes in the body are much more serious.
Fragile internal organs also require fat to protect them, so I think it is ok if you control fat intake.
of course! if you want to be smarter, eat more vegetables an fruits!
Nuts apple french fries cashews bread sugar
Since they have found ucp2 can they develop some pills to help control diets?
my brain will be destroyed by the unhappiness of eating no fat anyway
my sentiments exactly
I thought it'd cause brain damage or reducing IQ or sth. Glad not.