Fat-rich diets limit the birth and development of new neurons in female mice
Diets that are too rich in fat can decrease the birth and growth levels of new neurons in adult female mice but not in male mice. This is the interesting result achieved by a team of researchers who published their experience in a study on eNeuro.
Already in the past, several studies have associated traits such as obesity or type 2 diabetes with increased risks of brain damage, which can occur with a wide range of diseases, from depression to Alzheimer’s disease. And it is precisely the development and birth of new neurons that can be the causal link between these two conditions, as reported in the same press release that presents the study.
Researchers have experimented with mice by feeding them a diet rich in fat. At the same time, they fed mice from another control group on a normal diet for 18 weeks. In the mice that were on the higher-fat diet, the researchers warned of compromised neurogenesis, particularly in the hippocampus area, in addition to weight gain and blood sugar levels.
This was, however, only in female mice, which therefore showed a lower number of new neurons. Mice in the fat diet group showed the same number of new neurons as mice in the control group. This information could be useful to understand why women are actually at greater risk of cognitive decline during illnesses such as depression or Alzheimer’s disease.