July 19, 2018

Western Diet Can Damage Brain Systems

A study conducted at the Department of Psychology, Macquarie University in Australia, and printed in the journal Appetite has found that a Western diet – high in saturated fat and refined carbohydrates, called HFS diet – can damage brain systems┬áin human beings. There is evidence that shows this damage in animal research.

Diet can affect frontal, limbic, and hippocampal systems in the brain. Those areas have functions in learning, memory, cognition, and hedonics. Researchers suggest “there is a causal link running from HFS diet to impaired brain function in humans, and that HFS diets also contribute to the development of neurodegenerative conditions.”

Unfortunately, scientists think that there is not much evidence that this damage can be reversed. The researchers reviewed evidence from animal studies, human studies, and epidemiological data from the last 30 years. The authors said, “while human research data is still at an early stage, there is evidence of an association between HFS diet and impaired cognitive function.” In fact, this type of diet may be a contributing factor in the development of ADHD, while Heather Francis, one of the authors of the study, stated that there is an “interesting conceptualization of AD (Alzheimer’s Disease) as representing a ‘diabetes of the brain.'”

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