How do those processed foods damage the memory ability of the aging brain?
the diet in this study simulates ready to eat packaged foods that have been on the shelves for a long time, such as potato chips and other snacks, frozen entrees (such as pasta and pizza), and cooked foods containing preservatives</ P>
researchers say that processed foods are also associated with obesity and type 2 diabetes, which means that older consumers may have to reduce the intake of convenience foods and consider increasing DHA rich foods, such as salmon, especially considering that the brain damage in this study is only 4 weeks. p>
“It is worrying to see these effects in such a short time. These findings suggest that eating processed foods can lead to serious and sudden memory defects – in the elderly, rapid memory decline is more likely to develop into neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease. After realizing this, maybe we can limit processed foods in our diet Rich in ω − food intake of fatty acid DHA to prevent or slow down this change.
previous studies have shown that short-term high-fat diet can lead to memory loss and brain inflammation in elderly animals, while DHA levels in hippocampus and amygdala are low in the brain of elderly rats.
DHA, also known as docosahexaenoic acid, is a ω − 3 fatty acids, usually with eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) It exists in fish and other seafood together. DHA can play a variety of functions in the brain, one of which is to resist inflammatory response. This study is also the first time to propose that DHA has the ability to fight brain inflammation caused by deep processing diet.
researchers randomly distributed normal food to male rats aged 3 months and 24 months (32% of calories come from protein, 54% from wheat based complex carbohydrates and 14% from fat) and deep processed foods (19.6% of calories come from protein, 63.3% from refined carbohydrates – corn starch, maltodextrin and sucrose – 17.1% from fat) , or deep processed foods supplemented with DHA.
the experimental results showed that compared with young rats fed various foods and old rats fed deep processed foods supplemented with DHA, there were significant signs of activation of genes related to a strong pro-inflammatory protein and other inflammatory markers in the hippocampus and amygdala of old rats fed only deep processed foods.
In the behavioral experiment, the old rats who only ate deep processed food also showed signs of memory loss. Within a few days, they forgot that they had been in an unfamiliar space, which indicated that their hippocampus had background memory problems; on the other hand, they did not show the expected fear behavior to the danger prompt, indicating that their amygdala was abnormal. Similarly Young rats that only ate deep processed food did not show these behavioral signs.
the human amygdala is associated with emotion related memories – events that produce fear and anxiety. If this area of the brain is dysfunctional, it may ignore the wires that warn of danger, resulting in the brain making wrong decisions.
the results also show that in older rats DHA supplementation in processed foods can effectively prevent the aggravation of brain inflammatory response and reduce behavioral signs of memory loss.
researchers do not know the exact dose of DHA ingested by these experimental animals, nor do they give the exact calories and nutrients ingested. Rats in both age groups gain weight significantly after eating deeply processed foods, and older rats They gained more weight than young rats. Therefore, adding DHA did not prevent weight gain caused by eating deeply processed foods.
this is a very key finding. Do not interpret the results of this study as that consumers can safely eat deeply processed foods as long as they take DHA supplements. She pointed out that if they want to prevent the damage caused by highly refined foods For multiple negative effects, a better way is to pay attention to the improvement of the overall diet.
some diets are advertised as low-fat foods, but they are highly processed, do not contain fiber, only contain refined carbohydrates, also known as low-quality carbohydrates. People who are used to reading nutritional information need to pay attention to the fiber and quality of carbohydrates. This study shows that these are A very important issue. (Ren Tian)