Diets rich in fatty foods and refined carbohydrates have been blamed for a number of diet-related chronic illnesses like obesity, type-2 diabetes etc. Health experts have also warned against consuming excessive amounts of fatty foods lest your blood cholesterol rises to dangerous levels. A new study has said that following a diet rich in high-fat and high-carb junk foods can not affect your physical appearance but may even lead to changes in the brain. The study has indicated that consuming an unhealthy diet may lead to changes in the hypothalamus region of the brain, which regulates body weight and homeostasis.
The study titled, “Microglial UCP2 Mediates Inflammation and Obesity Induced by High-Fat Feeding” was conducted by researchers of Yale University and was published in the journal Cell Metabolism. The study said that a high-fat and high-carb diet leads to inflammation in the hypothalamus, which is a physiological response to obesity and malnutrition. The researchers found that signs of inflammation in the hypothalamus may occur as early as three days after consumption of a high-fat diet even before the body has started showing signs of obesity. The researchers observed this inflammation in the brains of animals who were fed a high-fat diet.
The researchers observed changes in the microglial cells of the animals and that the physical structures of these cells appeared to be changing. Microlglial cells are the first line of defense in the central nervous system and they keep inflammation under check. The researchers also found that the changes in the microglia were triggered by changes in the mitochondria, which help our body cells derive energy from the food we eat. It was observed that the mitochondria had shrunk in size in animals that were on a high-fat diet. The study sought to prove the neurological impacts of consistently consuming a diet rich in fats, when earlier only the physiological impacts of the same were known.