Tags: Heart Disease | Obesity | high | fat | diet | men | heart

High-Fat Diets More Harmful to Men: Study

By    |   Friday, 17 October 2014 02:33 PM

Gender may play a role in whether a high-fat diet puts your heart at risk. New research has found that male and female brains have different biological responses to fatty foods that put men at greater risk.

The study — led by Cedars-Sinai Diabetes and Obesity Research Institute scientist Deborah Clegg— found that the brains of male laboratory mice exposed to the same high-fat diet as their female counterparts developed brain inflammation and heart disease that were not seen in the females.

"For the first time, we have identified remarkable differences in the sexes when it comes to how the body responds to high-fat diets," said Clegg. "In the study, the mice were given the equivalent of a steady diet of hamburgers and soda. The brains of the male mice became inflamed and their hearts were damaged. But the female mice showed no brain inflammation and had normal hearts during the diet."

According to Clegg, females appear to have a strong protection against the ravages of a high-fat, high-sugar diet that can cause brain inflammation and heart disease. Researchers have linked brain inflammation to overeating, harmful changes in blood sugar levels, and to changes in fat tissue composition that can lead to obesity.

Clegg said the research suggests that one size may not fit all when it comes to nutritional guidance. An occasional high-fat meal may be OK for women, for instance, but may put men at risk for obesity.

"These findings on how the brains and bodies of males and females respond so differently to nutrients suggests we have to reconsider whether the diets and drugs we recommend for managing obesity may need to be sex-specific to be more effective," said Richard Bergman, director of the Diabetes and Obesity Research Institute.

The study, funded by the National Institutes of Health, was published in the journal Cell Reports.

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Male and female brains have different biological responses to fatty foods that put men at greater risk, according to new research.
high, fat, diet, men, heart, obesity
Friday, 17 October 2014 02:33 PM
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