A single junk food at snack or dinner may trigger signs of metabolic disease, says a new study. Researcher Suzan Wopereis said that acute effects of diet were mostly small, but might have large consequences in the long run, adding that their novel approach allowed detection of small but relevant effects, thereby contributing to the urgently needed switch from disease-care to health-care, aiming for a life-long optimal health and disease prevention.
In the study, Wopereis and colleagues used two groups of male volunteers. The first group included 10 healthy male volunteers. The second group included nine volunteers with metabolic syndrome and who had a combination of two or more risk factors for heart disease, such as unhealthy cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, high blood lipids, and abdominal fat.
‘Just one high calorie food is enough to make people with metabolic disease worse and in others, it triggered the onset of metabolic disease.
After taking their blood samples, they found that biochemical processes related to sugar metabolism, fat metabolism and inflammation were abnormal in subjects with metabolic syndrome.
The 10 healthy male volunteers were also given a snack diet consisting of an additional 1300 kcal per day, in the form of sweets and savory products such as candy bars, tarts, peanuts and crisps for four weeks.
The response of the same 61 biomarkers to the challenge test was evaluated. Signaling molecules such as hormones regulating the control of sugar and fat metabolism and inflammation were changed, resembling the very subtle start of negative health effects similar to that affecting those with metabolic disease.
Researcher Gerald Weissmann said that eating junk food was one of those situations where our brains say 'yes' and our bodies say 'no.'
Weissmann said this report showed that people need to use their brains and listen to their bodies.