Too much dietary fat in the brain may impact mental health


People with obesity are often likely to develop depression as well, but the mechanisms at play are still unclear. New research in mice may now explain what happens in the brains of individuals who have a high-fat diet.

Many studies — including one that Medical News Today covered in November last year — have found that people with obesity are at increased risk of depression.

So far, though, it has remained unclear exactly why this is the case, and what biological mechanisms might drive obesity-related depression.

A team of researchers from the University of Glasgow in the United Kingdom and the Gladstone Institutes, in San Francisco, CA, has recently studied how eating a diet high in saturated fats might make depression more likely, using mouse models to do so.

The investigators — led by Prof. George Baillie, from the University of Glasgow — note that this is a particularly important research topic, as obesity-related depression seems to happen via different mechanisms from depression in otherwise healthy individuals.

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