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Do Fatty Diets Make Us Stupid? | Medilogy
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Do Fatty Diets Make Us Stupid?

Have you ever wondered why Asians are so smart?  Well new research could possibly have the answer to this common stereotype.  Contrary to what you may have heard, high-fat diets are both malignant for our health in the long-term and short-term, a new study reveals.

A new research on rats discovered that 10 days of eating high-fat diet resulted in short-term memory loss and made it much more difficult for the rats to exercise.  Although this might not come off as a big surprise, how the researchers interpreted the results might.  Apparently, researchers believe this study indicates that high-fat diets make humans “lazy and stupid.”

Researchers hope that this particular study will compel people to pay better attention to their diets and health.  Andrew Murray, co-author of the study from University of Cambridge in UK said, “Western diets are typically high in fat and are associated with long-term complications, such as obesity, diabetes, and heart failure, yet the short-term consequences of such diets have been given relatively little attention. We hope that the findings of our study will help people to think seriously about reducing the fat content of their daily food intake to the immediate benefit of their general health, well-being, and alertness.”

Murray and other researchers compared rats that ate a low-fat diet (7.5% of calories as fat) with rats that ate a high-fat diet (55% of calories as fat).  The results were astounding as the rats eating the high-fat diet had muscles that were less able to use oxygen to make energy and had hearts that increased in size and were pressured to work harder.  Also, after nine days on the high-fat diet, the rats took longer to complete a maze and made more mistakes compared to the rats on low-fat diet.

The rat’s inability to use oxygen was due to increased levels of uncoupling protein 3.  As a result, the rats were inefficient at producing the oxygen required to make energy, which is highly necessary for running.

However, the results of this study are not 100% accurate, as the same, exact study must be conducted in human trials to confirm the hypothesis. Also, rats have a shorter life span which suggests that the effects from the study may play out in a shorter time scale than in humans, making the changes seem much more quicker and significant.  But for now, rodents are good correspondents to human studies and should compel people to take further steps in becoming healthier.

In a simple conclusion, Dr. Gerald Weissmann, editor-in-chief of FASEB journal said, “It’s nothing short of a high-fat hangover. A long weekend spent eating hotdogs, French fries, and pizza in Orlando might be a great treat for our taste buds, but they might send our muscles and brains out to lunch..”

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