An unbalanced diet that is too high in fat promotes obesity, with consequences on the cardiovascular system, mood, liver and, from today, we also know on muscles. In fact, a high-fat diet increases the risk of sarcopenia, which is a condition that leads to a gradual loss of muscle mass and more and more difficulty in carrying out daily actions and moving. This is evident from a very recent scientific research published in the Nutrients journal (Zou et al, Nutrients, 2022).
The problem of obesity
Obesity is the scourge of our century. An unbalanced diet, rich in fats and refined carbohydrates and a sedentary lifestyle are certainly risk factors for the accumulation of fat. Obesity also paves the way for other diseases, such as diabetes, fatty liver, increased chronic inflammation, cardiovascular disease and cellular degeneration. However, obesity can also affect the health and functioning of muscles. To understand the effects of a high-fat diet capable of inducing obesity, scientists have developed the study we are talking about today.
Diet too rich in fat favors sarcopenia
The research was carried out on specimens of zebrafish, which show a metabolism and a function of the muscles very similar to those of humans. Therefore zebrafish is an excellent model for studying sarcopenia in the case of a diet that is too high in fat. For 16 weeks, the zebrafish were fed a high-fat diet that led to obesity and fatty liver. At the same time it emerged that the zebrafish specimens tested had progressive muscle atrophy and a reduction in the size of the muscle fibers. Not only that, the zebrafish also swam with greater difficulty. The scientists were able to observe that the accumulation of lipids in the muscles caused a dysfunction, at the level of the muscle cells, of the mitochondria, which are organelles responsible for the production of energy that can be used by the cell. This led to muscle atrophy. Thus, the scientists were able to show that a high-fat diet paves the way for muscle atrophy and sarcopenia.
Here is further proof that it is essential to follow a healthy and balanced diet and an active lifestyle that includes moderate physical activity, in order to avoid weight gain and the accumulation of fat. It should be repeated, the problem of obesity has nothing to do with aesthetics but only with health as it can have long-term repercussions on the heart, liver and muscles.