All fast-food lovers will have noticed that regularly consuming junk food has an undeniable effect on your figure and your weight. But according to a recent study led by Yale University in the United States, junk food could also have consequences on our brains and could also occur a lot sooner than the visible effects on our bodies.
According to scientists, it only takes a diet that is rich in fat and carbohydrates three days to start affecting the brain. Why? A protein called UCP2 which causes the hypothalamus to become inflamed. This area is where vital functions such as appetite regulation and fear management are regulated and take place.
The influence that your diet has on the health of your brain
In the lab, researchers observed that activating this protein also stimulated the animals with this type of diet to eat more, hence they became obese more quickly.
But by blocking this mechanism and removing the protein, the animals with a diet rich in fat ate less and were more resistant to weight gain.
‘There are specific brain mechanisms that get activated when we expose ourselves to specific type of foods,’ as Dr Sabrina Diano, the main author of this study, explains. These mechanisms however do have consequences for our bodies.
Going beyond nutrition, the scientist hopes that her research into this will also be able to be used in a larger and broader area of study, such as research into Alzheimer’s disease.