The latest in the news has multiple stories that are being reported even in the mainstream media on the effects of your diet on your health. However, often we forget that health includes mental health. Various reports have shown certain foods affect mood, and also the ability for one to function at top performance, both physically and mentally.
This new study though, weighs heavy on the mind.... literally.
From Scientific American:
" What is the effect of a high fat diet? Well, it appears to be getting more complicated with each new study.
It looks like diet-induced obesity might produce depressive-like effects in mice. But how the diet is doing that is not so well defined.
*“Diet-induced obesity promotes depressive-like behaviour that is associated with neural adaptations in brain reward circuitry” International Journal of Obesity, 2012.
Several studies in humans have found a correlation between obesity and the development of depression. But it’s important to keep in mind that correlation is not causation. Many people who become obese also have other things going on (socioeconomic status, family history, comorbid disorders) which can influence the development of depression. In order to determine if obesity itself is causing depression, you first have to deliberately cause obesity in a controlled population.
And this is where mice come in. Using a specialty high fat and high sugar diet, Sharma and Fulton fed up a set of mice for 12 weeks, until they were significantly fatter than control mice. They then looked at behavioral tests for anxiety and depression.
Depressive-like behavior has been correlated in the past with changes in stress-responses, so the authors looked at the stress hormone corticosterone (which is cortisol in humans). High-fat diet mice showed slightly higher corticosterone, but much higher levels after stress, suggesting that they may be more sensitive to stress than normal mice.
The authors also looked at alterations in reward pathways like the nucleus accumbens and striatum, and found significant changes. Though changes in these areas are not usually correlated with depressive-like behavior, they have been shown in other high fat studies and are thought to relate to differences in how animals eating high fat diets process rewards.
From these data the authors conclude that their high-fat diet obesity produced depressive-like behavior. And while I think the preliminary data has potential, I also think there could be improvements...."
Read more from the original story here: http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/scicurious-brain/2012/05/02/high-fat-diets-and-depression-a-look-in-mice/?WT.mc_id=SA_syn_HuffPo