Scientists have long observed a clear relationship between obesity and depression. It may seem that they are interconnected only by human complexes about their excess weight, but no – a new study proved that complex biological processes are also involved in this matter. For example, researchers at the University of Glasgow have found that depression symptoms sometimes occur when human dietary fats accumulate in a specific area of the brain.
In 2018, a study was conducted in which mice were given high fat foods. Subsequently, these individuals began to show symptoms of depression until antibiotics returned the state of the microflora to normal. The researchers then concluded that a high-fat diet could cultivate certain groups of intestinal bacteria that cause depression causing neurochemical changes.
New research has moved away from the study of intestinal bacteria, and revealed the processes that occur in the human brain. At the very beginning of the experiment on mice, it was found that both diet and genetically induced obesity lead to depressive behavior. A more detailed study revealed that dietary fats easily enter the bloodstream and accumulate in the brain area called the hypothalamus. Subsequently, they cause disturbances in the signaling pathways, which causes depression.
This is the first time anyone has observed a direct effect of a high-fat diet on signal areas of the brain associated with depression, ”explained George Bailey, the lead author of the study.
The new discovery explains why obese patients are less responsive to antidepressants than thin patients. Upon learning of this, researchers can create drugs that cure depression by affecting the amount of fatty acids in the blood.
We often eat fatty foods to comfort ourselves, because it is really tasty. However, in the long run, such food can affect a person’s mood very negatively.
In April, scientists also learned that obesity can lead to brain damage. Details about this study can be found in our material.
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