New Study: Diet Better for the Brain than Exercise

Research has shown that if you adhere to a low-fat diet it is potentially more effective than exercising in keeping your brain cells later in life.

Brain cells
The research found correlation between obesity and brain cell reduction.

( — August 25, 2018) — It is believed that children who have an intake of 40 percent less calories than the recommended daily intake reduce risk of inflammation in brain cells and maintain their brain tissue.

This was discovered thanks to a study by the University Medical Center Groningen in the Netherlands and was published in the Journal of the Molecular Science Frontier.

Experts have specially looked at microglia cells located in the brain and spine, which maintain the proper functioning of the brain needed for the body to function properly.

“Obesity and aging are both prevalent and increasing in societies worldwide, but the consequences for the central nervous system are not well understood,” says Bart Eggen, lead author of the study and a researcher at the University Medical Center Groningen, The Netherlands. “We determined if a low- or high-fat diet, in combination with exercise and food restriction, impacted microglia during aging in mice.”

It is known that inflammation in the brain cells is associated with diseases such as multiple sclerosis, Rasmussen encephalitis and dementia, so this discovery can be considered very significant. However, another very interesting thing was discovered with this approach, the mice are fed low-fat foods throughout their lives, and it’s not clear if a switch to such a diet would help someone who ate fatty foods before.

Research was carried out on six-month-old mice and researchers gave them foods with low fat or high fat content to see how calories affected the inflammation of the rodent’s brain. Two-year-old mice also went through a similar experiment where they could either decide to use a training wheel or eating a low-fat food.

According to dr Eggan, “Aging-induced inflammatory activation of microglia could only be prevented when mice were fed a low-fat diet in combination with limited caloric intake.”  However, “a low-fat diet per se was not sufficient to prevent these changes,” Eggan concludes.

Researchers found that fat content in mice nutrition is an important parameter in terms of harmful effects of brain aging, as well as caloric intake. Only when the fat content and the amount of calories are limited it may be possible to prevent changes in the microglia of the cells that cause aging.

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