Fatty Foods May Impair Brain Function

Contributed by: Dennis Fortier, President, Medical Care Corporation

We have often written here about research that links poor vascular health to poor cognitive health and it is clear that a steady supply of oxygen rich blood is necessary to keep the brain functioning at a high level. According to research published in the FASEB Journal, it appears that eating foods with high-fat content not only contributes to poor vascular health but can directly impede brain function through a lesser understood mechanism as well.

The research, conducted at Cambridge University, used rats that had been well trained to complete a series of mazes. One group of the trained rats were then fed a high-fat diet while a control group was kept on the low-fat diet that all rats had eaten during the learning period.

Within a few days of switching to the high-fat diet, rats began making more mistakes in the maze and the number of mistakes increased consistently throughout the period of fat intake. Meanwhile, the rats that maintained a low-fat diet were able to preserve their high levels of performance in the mazes.

As we always point out, rats are not human so it is dangerous to generalize these results to us. However, when a particular diet has such a sharp and significant impact on cognitive function in other mammals, it is worth considering how that same diet might be affecting us.

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