FAB RESEARCH COMMENT:
Eating a diet rich in processed foods for just 4 weeks led to significant impairments in memory and cognition in ageing rats (but not in young animals) along with increased measures of inflammation in brain regions known to be critical for memory and learning.
Importantly, however, when the same diet was supplemented with the long-chain omega-3 fatty acid DHA (found in fish and seafood), this protected against both the memory and learning problems, and the neuroinflammation, caused by the processed food diet.
Similar pioneering research almost 10 years ago first showed that adding omega-3 fatty acids to the diet could protect against memory problems, brain changes and metabolic problems
that were caused by only 6 weeks of high-sugar intake.
These findings reinforce those of many other studies showing that highly processed diets - high in sugar and refnied carbohydrates and lacking in omega-3 fatty acids - can rapidly cause memory and learning difficulties.
Very importantly, they also support previous research showing that adding long-chain omega-3 fatty acids to such diets can protect against many of their damaging effects.
For the related news article please see:
For a full list of research articles on the subject of 'ultra-processed' foods and their effects, please see:
And for more information on omega-3 fatty acids and the ageing brain, see: