Shedding Light in the Darkness

How French Fries Can Change Our Brains


At least in rats! According to a new study with rats, a high-fat diet changes the populations of bacteria residing inside the gut and also alters signaling to the brain – so that the brain no longer senses signals for fullness, which leads to overeating.

The findings from this study conducted by researchers at the University of Georgia, Washington State University and Binghamton University, were presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior, the society for research into eating and drinking behavior.

“When we switch the rats to a high fat diet, it reorganizes brain circuits,” explained Dr. Krzysztof Czaja, associate professor of neuroanatomy at the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine. “The brain is changed by eating unbalanced foods. It induces inflammation in the brain regions responsible for feeding behavior. Those reorganized circuits and inflammation may alter satiety signaling.”

When it comes to diet and how it impacts health, Dr. Czaja says we should “think systemically.” “All of the components and receptors in our body are interconnected and should work in harmony. There is not a single receptor responsible for huge physiological outcomes.”


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