A diet high in fat promotes diabetes, brain damage and Alzheimer's disease

Cognitive impairment due to high fat foods

A diet high in fatty foods not only promotes weight problems, but also damages the brain. It affects cognitive abilities, the development of anxiety and depression, and the progression of Alzheimer's disease.

A new international study involving experts from the University of South Australia has looked at how a high-fat diet affects body weight, fasting blood sugar, anxiety, depression and cognitive dysfunction.

The results were published in the English-language journal Metabolic Brain Disease.

The mice were fed a high-fat diet

In research, mice were fed a high fat diet for thirty weeks which led to the development of diabetes. In addition, there was a control group in which the animals followed a normal diet.

Experts monitored food intake, body weight, glucose levels and the development of cognitive impairment at various intervals. In addition, glucose and insulin tolerance tests were carried out and the levels of the so-called TAU protein in the animals' brains, which is associated with Alzheimer's disease, were determined.

A high-fat diet led to a decline in cognitive abilities

It was found that mice that ate a high-fat diet first developed diabetes and then suffered a decline in cognitive abilities.

The animals on the high fat diet gained a lot of weight and also developed insulin resistance. They also began to behave abnormally compared to mice in the control group, the team said.

An increased development of anxiety and depression was also detectable and the high fat diet also increased levels of TAU protein, suggesting a negative effect on Alzheimer's disease.

High-fat diet particularly problematic in Alzheimer's disease

Researchers continue to report that genetically engineered mice with Alzheimer's disease showed significant deterioration in cognitive abilities and pathological changes in the brain when fed a high-fat diet.

Nervous system impairment due to obesity and diabetes

According to the author of the study, Professor Larisa Bobrovskaya, the results of the study contribute to a better understanding of the links between chronic obesity, diabetes and Alzheimer's disease.

“Obesity and diabetes affect the central nervous system and worsen psychiatric disorders and cognitive decline. We demonstrated this in our study with mice,” Bobrovskaya added in a press release.

"Obese people have a 55% increased risk of developing depression, and diabetes doubles this risk," adds the study's author.

“Our results underscore how important it is to tackle the global obesity epidemic,” says the expert. A combination of obesity, aging and diabetes is likely to lead to cognitive decline, Alzheimer's disease and other mental disorders. (as)

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This text corresponds to the specifications of the specialized medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been verified by health professionals.


Isaac Deng, Sally Kelliny, Liying Lin, Larisa Bobrovskaya, Xin-Fu Zhou, et al. : A Long-Term High-Fat Diet Induces Metabolic Disorders and Worsens Behavioral Disorders and Cognitive Deficits in MAPT P301L Transgenic Mice; in: Metabolic Brain Disease (Published 06/15/2022), Metabolic Brain DiseaseUniversity of South Australia: Long-Term High-Fat Diet Expands Size and Shrinks the Brain (Published 07/08/2022), University of South Australia South Australia

Important note:
This article contains general advice only and should not be used for self-diagnosis or treatment. It cannot substitute a visit to the doctor.