Chic-fil-Aches: Eating fast food can lead to pain, even if you’re skinny and healthy, study suggests
- Certain fats in fast food are known to raise cholesterol and cause inflammation
- Eating a bad diet or being obese leads to chronic inflammation and sensitivity to pain.
- But now researchers believe that even a few meals can cause similar damage.
Eating junk food can trigger aches or make people more sensitive to pain, even if they are healthy and thin, a study suggests.
Certain fats in fast food can cause cholesterol to build up in the arteries and lead to inflammation, leading to joint pain and making people more sensitive to pain.
It’s well documented that being obese or eating junk for a long time can lead to chronic pain, but now researchers say even a few meals can cause harm.
A study of mice found that saturated fat in the blood binds to receptors on nerve cells leading to inflammation and mimicking symptoms of nerve damage.
The process was seen after just eight weeks on a high-fat diet that did not have enough calories to make the rodents overweight.
Dr Michael Burton, assistant professor of neuroscience at UT Dallas, said: ‘This study indicates that you don’t need diabetes; you don’t need to need a pathology or injury at all.
“Eating a high-fat diet for a short period of time is enough, a diet similar to what almost everyone in the US eats at some point.”
Previous studies have looked at the relationship of high-fat diets with mice that were also obese or had diabetes.
It comes after a study found that intermittent fasting, one of the most popular and promoted diet techniques, may actually increase the risk of early death.
Eating junk food can trigger chronic pain, even in healthy, lean people, study suggests (file image)
“But this recent study removed other variables and was able to begin to identify the direct connection of diet to chronic pain,” said Laura Simmons, a dietitian who was not involved in the study. today’s medical news.
The research, published in the journal scientific reportscompared the effects of different diets on two groups of mice for eight weeks.
One received normal food, while the other was fed a high-fat diet that would not cause obesity.
The researchers looked for saturated fat in their blood. They found that mice on a high-fat diet had higher levels of palmitic acid.
They also found that fat bound to the TLR4 nerve receptor, triggering the release of inflammatory markers.
The researchers believe that drugs that target that receptor could be key to preventing inflammation and pain caused by poor diets.
Dr Burton added: ‘Now that we see that it is the sensory neurons that are affected, how is this happening?
“We found that if you remove the receptor that palmitic acid binds to, you don’t see that sensitizing effect on those neurons.
“That suggests there is a way to block it pharmacologically.”
Dr. Burton wants doctors to investigate whether a poor diet could be behind a patient’s pain, even if they are not obese and appear healthy.
WHAT SHOULD A BALANCED DIET LOOK LIKE?
• Eat at least 5 servings of a variety of fruits and vegetables every day. All fresh, frozen, dried and canned fruits and vegetables count
• Base meals on potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates, ideally whole grains
• 30 grams of fiber a day: This is the same as eating all of the following: 5 servings of fruits and vegetables, 2 whole grain crackers, 2 thick slices of whole wheat bread, and a large baked potato with skin.
• Have some dairy products or dairy alternatives (such as soy drinks), choosing options that are lower in fat and sugar.
• Eat some beans, legumes, fish, eggs, meat and other protein (including 2 servings of fish a week, one of which should be fatty)
• Choose unsaturated oils and spreads and eat them in small amounts
• Drink 6 to 8 cups/glasses of water a day
• Adults should have less than 6 g of salt and 20 g of saturated fat for women or 30 g for men per day
Font: NHS Eatwell Guide