Scientists Reveal How Highly Processed Food Can Harm Memory

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( — July 27, 2022) Orlando, FL — Over the years, researchers have been carrying out studies to look into the impacts of food on the human body and overall health. Time and again it has been shown that highly processed foods are particularly detrimental to well-being.

A study involving animals suggests that intake of highly processed foods is harmful to memory in the aging brain.  This new research has particularly shown that adherence to a diet of highly processed food for four weeks led to a strong inflammatory response in the brains of aging rats. Further, it was accompanied by behavioral signs of memory loss. 

The findings have also revealed intake of omega-3 supplements while on a processed diet prevented memory issues. What makes it all the more beneficial is that it lessened the inflammatory impacts almost entirely in older rats. 

Further, the researchers did not detect neuroinflammation and cognitive health issues in young adult rats that consumed the processed diet. This research was designed to mimic ready-to-eat human foods often packaged for long shelf lives, such as potato chips, pizzas, and deli.  

It is worth noting that highly processed diets are also linked with obesity and type 2 diabetes. This suggests that older consumers might actually want to scale back on convenience foods and add more healthy ones.

“The fact we’re seeing these effects so quickly is a little bit alarming,” said senior study author Ruth Barrientos

Barrientos is an investigator in The Ohio State University Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research and an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral health.

“These findings indicate that consumption of a processed diet can produce significant and abrupt memory deficits — and in the aging population, rapid memory decline has a greater likelihood of progressing into neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease. By being aware of this, maybe we can limit processed foods in our diets and increase consumption of foods that are rich in the omega-3 fatty acid DHA to either prevent or slow that progression.”

The research can be found in the journal Brain, Behavior, and Immunity.

Processed foods are just some of the sources of toxins that people are having trouble avoiding. To lessen the body’s toxic burden, it may be beneficial to detoxify through the use of activated charcoal.

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