31 October 2016

How your microbes use candies to turn you into a zombie

Happy Hallowe'en everyone, I hope you had a fantastic WE.
Expect weird and wonderful posts across the net today as we celebrate and remember the dead tonight.

And it starts right here on MBAI with a Hallowe'en special and an article that was published a couple of weeks ago. It is entitled:

The effect of short-term exposure to energy-matched diets enriched in fat or sugar on memory, gut microbiota and markers of brain inflammation and plasticity.

And it (almost) means what today's title is.

It is based on the realisation that there is a clear interaction between our gut, our microbiota, and our brain - something I will explore very soon (e.g. why does the majority of people with autism, schizophrenia, anxiety, and depression has gastrointestinal issues and/or eczema and allergies?).

This October study was done on rats, and, although it will undoubtedly be different from human models, it does give a good clinical basis for future explorations in human populations.

It's hot hot hot for the authors as they've also published in June 2016 and it must be ground breaking for them to publish at least two papers within this short time period.

In their articles, they showed that consuming a diet rich in sugar and saturated fat can cause memory deficit:

This could be due to the growth of bad strains in their gut flora (that thrive on sweet and fatty nutrients), which triggers a brain inflammatory response in the region responsible for memory and cognition. Interestingly, rats didn't need to become overweight to experience this level of inflammation, just eating bad stuff did the trick.  

So, in case these observations do translate into human data, try not to binge on sweets too much...

What are your plans for Hallowe'en?

See you next Monday,

Abstracts can be found here and here.

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