A new study suggests that obesity caused by a high-fat diet may alter gut bacteria and contribute to changes that promote anxiety, reports Medical News Today:

“Individuals with obesity are more likely to experience anxiety and other mental health disorders.

“Among various overlapping factors, high-fat diets have been identified as a possible contributor to both obesity and anxiety. These diets can also change the composition of our gut microbiome.

“The gut microbiome might be the key link, as it may influence obesity-related metabolic factors and affect anxiety-like behavior through the microbiota-gut-brain axis.

“These connections could help explain, in part, why obesity and anxiety can often occur together.

“To delve deeper into the intricate relationships between high-fat diets, obesity, anxiety, and the gut microbiome, a new study investigated the effects of a high-fat diet over 9 weeks on rats.

“The study analyzed shifts in the gut microbiome, microbiome-gut-brain axis, and serotonin (serotonergic) systems in the brain. These systems are known to influence both anxiety and metabolism.

“The results suggest that high-fat-diet-induced obesity may be associated with altered signaling along the microbiome-gut-serotonergic brain axis, leading to increased anxiety-related behaviors in rats.

“In other words, obesity caused by a high-fat diet may disrupt gut bacteria and their signaling pathways to the brain. This may ultimately impact brain chemicals associated with anxiety.”

To read the entire Medical News Today article, click HERE.