Eating fattening foods, even if you are otherwise healthy, can lead to pain

Dallas— Scientists have long agreed that the nerve damage and pain seen in people with diabetes or obesity is related to their metabolic state. Researchers from the University of Texas – Dallas are now challenging that notion. Could eating fattening food alone be the driving factor behind pain in some people?

Results from an animal study led by the UT Dallas team suggest that may be the case. All the more reason to avoid a high-fat diet, no matter how healthy you are in general.

“This study suggests that you don’t need obesity to cause pain; you don’t need diabetes; you don’t need pathology or injury at all,” co-author Dr. “Eating a high-fat diet for a short time is enough — a diet similar to what almost all of us have eaten in the United States at some point.”

It’s no secret that the standard American diet is high in fat and fried foods that are gateways to the laundry list of chronic disease and obesity. In fact, eating fattening food may exacerbate pre-existing conditions or hinder recovery from injury.

In their study, Burton and his team compared the effects of different diets on two groups of mice over the course of eight weeks. One received normal food, while the other was fed a high-fat diet that did not induce diabetes or obesity because both can result from pain associated with conditions such as diabetic neuropathy. They compared obese mice with diabetes to these mice as well.

The researchers looked for saturated fat in the blood of mice on a high-fat diet, and found it palmitic acidIt is the most common form of saturated fat, and it binds to a specific receptor on nerve cells that triggers inflammation and mimics nerve damage.

This suggests that if there is a way to stop this binding process, then interventions may be possible.

“Now that we see that sensory neurons are affected, how does that happen? We discovered that if you remove the receptor that palmitic acid binds to, you don’t see the sensitizing effect on those neurons. This suggests there is a way to prevent it pharmacologically,” he says. Burton.

Burton encourages health care professionals to consider the dangerous effects of eating fattening foods, not only in patients who are obese or at risk for diabetes, but in anyone who may be experiencing pain. There may be more answers hiding in “how” a patient got to a particular point than in the endpoint or disease state itself.

The results have been published in the journal Scientific reports.

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