Science

Fish Oil May Reduce The Harmful Effects Of Junk Food

By Enozia Vakil , May 15, 2013 10:50 PM EDT
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Junk food is the culprit of a good number of health conditions prevalent today, including diabetes, hypertension, obesity and even cancer. Thankfully, there's fish oil to slash the harmful effects that junk food may have on the brain.

Researchers from the University of Liverpool's Institute of Ageing and Chronic Disease found evidence in more than a 180 research papers around the world to confirm that fish oil did indeed protect the brain against the 'damage' caused due to junk food.

Foods high in 'unhealthy' fats are thought to cause disturbances in neurogenesis, a process that helps generate new nerve cells. On the other hand, a diet rich in omega 3 fatty acids such as fish oil, may help prevent these disturbances from occurring.

"Body weight is influenced by many factors, and some of the most important of these are the nutrients we consume. Excessive intake of certain macronutrients, the refined sugars and saturated fats found in junk food, can lead to weight gain, disrupt metabolism and even affect mental processing," Dr Lucy Pickavance, University's Institute of Ageing and Chronic Disease, said.

"These changes can be seen in the brain's structure, including its ability to generate new nerve cells, potentially linking obesity to neurodegenerative diseases. Research, however, has suggested that omega-3 fish oils can reverse or even prevent these effects. We wanted to investigate the literature on this topic to determine whether there is evidence to suggest that omega-3s might aid weight loss by stimulating particular brain processes," She elaborated.

Junk food consumption is also thought to interfere with the activity of molecules that stimulate the growth of new nerve cells; fish oil, on the other hand, may stop this interference, restoring normal molecular activity.

Fish oil is also thought to aid normal brain function by stopping the production of harmful inflammatory molecules and suppressing triglycerides which happens due to regular consumption of junk food. Furthermore, a few studies suggest that fish oil may also be an effective tool for weight loss. Seems like there is much more to the fish oil than actually thought!

This research, published in the Britain's Journal of Nutrition, is all set to shed light on how fish oil may prove to be an effective 'medicine' to cut down the risk of various health issues that may occur due to excessive consumption of junk food. 

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