It turns out that the trend of low-carb and high-fat diets being the holy grail for weight loss may be very bad for your noggin.
Yes, doctors have now discovered that eating high-fat diet literally eats away at your brain!
This news has just come out and is probably shocking to many people who love their high fat/paleo diets.
But this is critical information.
When a high-fat diet causes us to become obese, it also appears to prompt normally bustling immune cells in our brain to become sedentary and start consuming the connections between our neurons, scientists say.
The good news is going back on a low-fat diet for just two months, at least in mice, reverses this trend of shrinking cognitive ability as weight begins to normalize, said Dr. Alexis M. Stranahan, a neuroscientist in the Department of Neuroscience and Regenerative Medicine at the Medical College of Georgia.
“Microglia eating synapses is contributing to synapse loss and cognitive impairment in obesity,” Stranahan said. “On the one hand, that is very scary, but it’s also reversible, meaning that if you go back on a low-fat diet that does not even completely wipe out the adiposity, you can completely reverse these cellular processes in the brain and maintain cognition.”
Stranahan is the corresponding author of the study in the journal Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, which provides some of the first evidence of why fat is bad for the brain.
But scientists hadn’t understood how excess weight affects the brain. Fat cells, they knew, manufacture and release substances into the bloodstream that flow to other parts of the body, including the heart and muscles. There, these substances jump-start biochemical processes that produce severe inflammation and other conditions that can lead to poor health.
Many thought the brain, though, should be insulated from those harmful effects. It contains no fat cells and sits behind the protective blood-brain barrier that usually blocks the entry of undesirable molecules.
However, recent disquieting studies in animals indicate that obesity weakens that barrier, leaving it leaky and permeable. In obese animals, substances released by fat cells can ooze past the barrier and into the brain.