Can the consumption of fatty foods change your behavior and your brain?
Reports new study in Biological Psychiatry Public Release: 26-Mar-2015
“High-fat diet alters behavior and produces signs of brain inflammation”
High-fat diets have long been known to increase the risk for medical problems, including heart disease and stroke, but there is growing concern that diets high in fat might also increase the risk for depression and other psychiatric disorders.
A new study published in the current issue of Biological Psychiatry raises the possibility that a high-fat diet produces changes in health and behavior, in part, by changing the mix of bacteria in the gut, also known as the gut microbiome.
The human microbiome consists of trillions of microorganisms, many of which reside in the intestinal tract. These microbiota are essential for normal physiological functioning. However, research has suggested that alterations in the microbiome may underlie the host's susceptibility to illness, including neuropsychiatric impairment.
This led researchers at Louisiana State University to test whether an obesity-related microbiome alters behavior and cognition even in the absence of obesity.
The article appears in Biological Psychiatry, Volume 77, Issue 7 (April 1, 2015), published by Elsevier. Philadelphia,
"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,"
“Indeed, these findings provide evidence that diet-induced changes to the gut microbiome are sufficient to alter brain function even in the absence of obesity. This is consistent with prior research, which has established an association between numerous psychiatric conditions and gastrointestinal symptoms, but unfortunately, the mechanisms by which gut microbiota affect behavior are still not well understood. “commented Dr. John Krystal, Editor of Biological Psychiatry.
John H. Krystal, M.D., is Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at the Yale
University School of Medicine, Chief of Psychiatry at Yale-New Haven Hospital, and a research psychiatrist at the VA Connecticut Healthcare System..