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Eating an Unhealthy, High Fat, High Carb Diet Is Also Very Bad for the Brain, Scientists Say


Eating an unhealthy, high carb and high fat diet does not only impact physical health—it also changes the part of the brain that controls the metabolism, a study in mice has revealed.

Scientists at Yale were able to prevent mice from gaining weight by deleting a special protein in cells found in the brain.

The central nervous system helps to regulate how the body metabolises energy and glucose by picking up and reacting to changes in the body—such as the lows and highs of hormones like insulin. The brain plays an important role in the process by helping us to know when and how much to eat, and by guiding the response of our metabolism.

Recently, scientists found that other cells in the central nervous system help neurons in this process. Glial cells—which make up more than half of the central nervous system and surround and support neurons—are now thought to be vital in processes linked to body weight and obesity.

To find out more about how diet affects the brain, researchers gave rodents diets high in fat and carbohydrates, while others were fed their regular mouse chow to act as a control.