A diet high in fat might not always be bad for your health! Don’t believe us? Science says a high-fat diet may delay signs of brain ageing. According to the experts, our body runs on a system where the cells ensure the damaged DNA is repaired. When this repair system slows down or stops totally, it leads to a defect in the DNA repair system and causes Cockayne syndrome. Cockayne syndrome is a condition wherein people age prematurely and die at a young age of 10-12 years.
According to the team of experts at the Center for Healthy Ageing, University of Copenhagen, Denmark and the National Institute of Health, United States, a high-fat diet in mice lead to a delayed ageing process in them. The team conducted experiments on mice with defects in their DNA repair system. It was found that placing a mouse model of Cockayne syndrome on a high-fat diet postponed ageing processes such as impaired hearing and weight loss.
“The study is good news for children with Cockayne syndrome, because we do not currently have an effective treatment. Our study suggests that a high-fat diet can postpone ageing processes,” said Professor Vilhelm Bohr, Center for Healthy Ageing, University of Copenhagen and the National Institute of Health.
“In cells from children with Cockayne syndrome, we have previously demonstrated that ageing is a result of the cell repair mechanism being constantly active. It eats into the resources and causes the cell to age very quickly,” said postdoc Morten Scheibye-Knudsen from the National Institute of Health.
“We therefore hope that a diet with a high content of coconut oil or similar fats will have a beneficial effect, because the brain cells are given extra fuel and thus the strength to repair the damage,” Scheibye-Knudsen said.
The study was published in the journal Cell Metabolism and also explains how fat is crucial for the health of brain cells. Sugar or ketones make up as the fuel for our brain especially in the event of low sugar levels when the body starts breaking down fat to obtain sugar.
The team hopes that the study can help unearth new discoveries and treatments for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease as they both are associated with the process of brain ageing.
“A diet high in fat also seems to postpone the ageing of the brain. The findings therefore potentially imply that patients with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease in the long-term may benefit from the new knowledge,” Bohr said.