The common American diet these days is fraught with sugar and fat, and while it does come with its own set of health setbacks, it also is recently discovered to affect our ability to think clearly.
Recent research from Oregon State University has discovered changes in the gut brought by the high-fat and high-sugar diet which seem to cause significant losses in cognitive flexibility, which is a factor of the brain’s ability to switch between thinking about one concept to another, and to adapt to changes in the external factors.
The study, which was tested on mice and published this week in the journal Neuroscience discovered a high-sugar diet being particularly detrimental to brain function, leading to impairments in short and long-term memory and lessened cognitive flexibility.
“We’ve known for a while that too much fat and sugar are not good for you,” Dr. Kathy Magnusson, a biomedical scientist at the university and the study’s lead author, said in a statement. “This work suggests that fat and sugar are altering your healthy bacterial systems, and that’s one of the reasons those foods aren’t good for you. It’s not just the food that could be influencing your brain, but an interaction between the food and microbial changes.”
As stated earlier, the findings are not exactly a jaw-dropper. They’re the most recent for being a part of a research which has shown that trillions of bacteria in the gut can be the cause of alterations on brain function and mental health. This way, your diet can be your savior or your destroyer when it comes to brain health.