A diet rich in saturated fats would have negative consequences



A diet high in saturated fat would have a negative impact on the motivation and mood disorders. A team of Montreal researchers has demonstrated that a diet high in fat can cause major faults on the mesolimbic dopamine. This neurotransmitter is directly involved in the circuit of “reward” which produced the mood disorders and addictive behaviors.

Food and saturated fat: the affected behavior

The results published today in the journal “Neuropsychopharmacology” show that “regardless of weight gain and obesity, a diet high in fat can cause deficiencies in the functioning of brain circuits directly involved in disorders mood, motivation, addiction, overeating and in the Hedonia that characterizes a mental state of well-being, “says Stephanie Fulton, a professor in the department of nutrition at the University of Montreal. “The effects of high fat diet on reducing the sensitivity of the brain’s reward system are unique to saturated fats such as palm oil,” she adds.

To achieve these results, the researchers worked with three groups of rats. The first, the control group was fed a low fat diet containing about equal amounts of monounsaturated and saturated fatty acids.

Besides being bad for health, eat at night greasy brain function

The second group received a diet rich in monounsaturated fatty acids, including 50% of calories come from fats from olive oil. The third, finally, received a diet rich in saturated fat, 50% calories came from palm oil derivatives. The rats were free to eat the amount they wanted.

After eight weeks, they underwent a series of biochemical and behavioral tests, significant operating dopamine in rats.

“We found that the rats that had had the palm oil based diet had a function of dopamine blunt,” said Cecile Hryhorczuk, co-author of the study. “We and other research groups speculated that this situation causes the brain to compensate by intensifying the search of reward behavior, much like the drug tolerance phenomenon where one must increase the dose to get the same level of pleasure or reward. ”

This study is the first of its kind to show that, regardless of changes in weight, overconsumption of fats can have negative effects on controls of motivation by the brain. “We believe that fats can affect the dopamine system by direct action in the brain,” says Stephanie Fulton.