It is obvious that high-fat diets are not good for health in long run. Does that mean they can be taken in a short-term?

An interesting study on rats has revealed that eating high-fat diet for 10 days had caused some short-term memory loss and also made exercising difficult. Though it is not anything new or anything surprising, the researchers feel that this study indicates that high-fat diets can make human beings stupid and lazy.

Speaking about this, Andrew Murray, co-author of the current study, University of Cambridge, UK quoted that western diets have a much higher fat content and are mostly responsible for long-term problems like diabetes, obesity and even heart failure. He also added that short-term consequences of these diets have been given very little attention and this study would help people to think about cutting down the fat content in their daily food intake.

The interesting findings of this new study are detailed in the popular FASEB Journal. Rodents are normally thought to be the better analogs to humans to carry out studies like this, but a complete research with humans would be definitely needed to confirm the harmful effects. It is also true that rats live a much shorter life in comparison to humans and the study effects may be on a shorter time scale than in normal people.

Murray and his team studied on two kinds of rat groups. One that fed a relatively low-fat diet (contains only 7.5% of calories as fat) and other that fed high-fat diet (contains 55% of calories as fat). It was found that muscles of rats that fed high-fat diet for almost 4 days were finding it difficult to use oxygen to gain energy for exercise and thus making their hearts to work hard – and also resulting in increase in size.

It was seen that after 9 days of this experiment the high-fat consuming rats took much longer time to complete a given maze and also were more error prone in the process in comparison to the low-fat diet consuming counterparts. The researchers also found a protein named uncoupling protein 3 in the high-fat diet consuming rats which was the root cause of the problems. This protein made them less able to use oxygen to produce energy for physical tasks like running.

When asked about this, Dr. Gerald Weissmann, editor-in-chief of FASEB journal said that it was nothing short of high-fat hangover. He also comically said that eating hotdogs, pizzas and French fries for long weekend might be a good treat for our taste buds but will definitely send our brains and muscles out for a lunch.