My Mother Says new research suggests that gut bacteria might be the key to understanding the effect of sugar and fat on brain function.
A study conducted by researchers at Oregon State University and published in the journal Neuroscience suggests that high-fat, high-sugar diets have a detrimental effect on what they refer to as “cognitive flexibility,” or the power to adapt and adjust to changing situations.
So, Why Should You Care? “Bacteria can release compounds that act as neurotransmitters, stimulate sensory nerves or the immune system, and affect a wide range of biological functions,” Kathy Magnusson, a professor in the OSU College of Veterinary Medicine and principal investigator with the Linus Pauling Institute, said in a statement. In about four weeks, the mental and physical performances of the mice on a high-fat, high-sugar diet started to drop significantly, especially when one or more variables in the test changed. One of the most disparate physiological factors within the groups of mice, and the suspected reason for the decreased brain function, was gut bacteria.