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Fast food fat gets into the brain and favors depression

Fast food fat gets into the brain and favors depression


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Does consuming fast food cause depression?

So-called fast food is unhealthy and contributes to weight gain. Researchers have now found that eating fast food can also lead to fat getting into our brains and depression.

A recent study by the University of Glasgow found that eating fast food causes fat to get into our brains. This appears to lead to depression. The results of the study were published in the English-language journal "Translational Psychiatry".

Saturated fatty acids get into the brain

Current research suggests that saturated fatty acids can actually get into the brain through the bloodstream. There they affect the function of a part of the brain that controls our emotions (hypothalamus). This leads to an increase in depressive symptoms. Although the study was only carried out on mice, the researchers believe that the results can explain the links between depression and obesity. This also indicated, for example, that antidepressants are less effective in overweight people than in people of normal weight. The researchers conclude that being overweight is an additional factor that causes depression, with the high-fat diet to blame.

What are depression?

While it is perfectly normal for people to feel bad from time to time, people with depression may feel unhappy for weeks or even months. Depression is fairly common and can affect anyone of any age. Approximately one in ten people will probably develop depression at some point in their lives. Symptoms and effects of depression vary. For example, those affected can be constantly upset, feel completely hopeless, or lose general interest in activities or things that they previously liked. It can also lead to physical symptoms such as sleep disorders, tiredness, loss of appetite or the sex drive is impaired. In some cases, depression even causes physical pain. In extreme cases, those affected develop suicidal thoughts through depression. Traumatic events can also trigger depression and people with cases of depression in the family are at higher risk of becoming ill.

Special antidepressants for overweight people?

The study looked at mice that ate up to 60 percent saturated and unsaturated fats. The researchers found that parts of the fat (saturated fatty acids) actually got into the brain via the bloodstream. The results of the study could influence the use of antidepressants in the future, so that special antidepressants for overweight and obese people may be used, which are better suited for these people. The current research could also explain how and why obesity is linked to depression and how patients with these disorders may be better treated, the study's authors emphasize.

Reducing fat intake leads to many advantages

Many people eat fatty foods when they are sad or in a bad mood to cheer themselves up by eating them. In the long run, however, this can negatively affect mood. It has long been known that reducing fat intake leads to many health benefits, and current research suggests that reducing fat intake also leads to improved mood. (as)

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