Junk food may trigger a chemical change in the brain and going on a low-fat diet could lead to withdrawal symptoms, including depression and anxiety, a new study reveals.
Researchers led by Stephanie Fulton at University of Montreal conducted the study on two groups of mice, one of which was given a high fat diet while the second group was made to eat a healthy diet.
The researchers found that the mice from the first group displayed signs of anxiety and had higher levels of stress hormone, corticosterone.
"By working with mice, whose brains are in many ways comparable to our own, we discovered that the neurochemistry of the animals who had been fed a high-fat, sugary diet was different from those who had been fed a healthy diet. The chemicals changed by the diet are associated with depression. A change of diet then causes withdrawal symptoms and a greater sensitivity to stressful situations, launching a vicious cycle of poor eating", Fulton said.