A new study conducted in Spain suggests that a high-fat diet could have long-term effects on adolescents’ memory and learning capabilities.
While it has previously been acknowledged that healthy, monounsaturated fats can have a positive impact on brain functions, the claims scientists are making at a Madrid university are alarming for a different reason.
The study observed three groups of mice: adolescent mice fed on a high-fat diet; adolescent mice on a control diet of equal caloric intake, but lower in fats; and adult mice on the same high-fat diet as the adolescents.
The high-fat fed adolescents suffered considerably impaired spatial memory compared to the other two groups. Researchers suspect that adolescents may be more susceptible to these fats due to the number of hormonal processes they are undergoing.
Furthermore, the damage appeared long lasting, if not permanent, as the detrimental effects persisted even after the mice were taken off the damaging diet.