The terrifying link between what we eat and how we think

The terrifying link between what we eat and how we think

Working in the acute health industry (hospitals and health service) elevates the awareness of the importance of maintaining optimum health. The last thing I would want to do it put additional pressure on the health care system, by the inaction or poor choices of myself.

Being part of the lumbering but limber beast and witnessing the degree of which our health services have finessed the throughput patient journey is quite mind-boggling.

The below slide taken from the Federal Government’s Digital Health Agency presentation shows Australia has the highest preforming health service performance per dollar spent on health care.

Curiously America, land-of-the-free has the worst performance per dollars spent. In other words, Australia’s system is pretty lean, mean, operating machine.

When I have been a patient within the system I am in awe of just how seamless the transition from ward to theatre to discharge is.

However I am cynical about one major thing: The prevention of putting patients in here in the first place. That is, Public health – the education to prevent the public ever needing acute treatment.

I simply do not understand with the current trends to an epidemic of obesity and diabetes why a more integrated approach is not taken.

It costs millions to care for patients with diabetic foot ulcers and wounds that simply won’t heal because the immense strain on their vascular system of being too overweight.

To a large degree this is self-inflected damage that takes persistence and dedication to occur. In other words, it does not happen overnight.

I always wonder about the why factor.

Why are we ballooning as a nation to the point that our bodies disintegrate around us?

Why are we – despite the best efforts of dieting and exercise – still trending towards an average of over 60 per cent obesity (QLD Health link).

If in an almost fashionable entry into the obesity smorgasbord of causation, the role of gut microbes have been linked to the propensity of being overweight.

For the attention deficit: the gut microbes of an obese person encourage them stay obese by reorganising their brain that encourages not-so-healthy food consumption patterns.

Catalyst is hot on the trail right now.

I stumbled across a study by Washington State University “Energy dense diet triggers changes in gut microbiota, reorganisation of gut brain vagal communication and increases body fat accumulation”.

The study in a 120 words

As an analogue for humans, rats were used and split into two groups, one fed a high fat diet and other a low fat diet. To see the effect of the diets on gut microbes the rats were given an antibiotic and their brains were examined after the study in the key area, called the nucleus of the solitary tract. This is basically where gut-brain communication occurs with signals like feeling full, craving foods, and the desire to overeat, are found. The results showed that a high fat diet induced changes in the diversity of the intestinal microbiota, and altered the gut-brain communication resulting in inflammation of the hindbrain feeding centres associated with overeating, overweight and increased in body fat accumulation.

So there was a shift in the diversity of the microbes by the high fat diet an in-turn triggered a shift in brain plasticity and the communication resulting in increased body fat accumulation leading to obesity.

Download a copy study if you prefer to read it in its entirety.

This study builds off the about the microbiota–brain axis.

Armed with knowledge of high fat diets and the impact on intestinal microbiota, it opens up new paradigms in how public health can approach obesity.

This study expanding the fascinating discovery published in 2016 about the microbiota–brain axis. Download a copy.

We are in effect as autonomous as a cleared smart phone, the operating system is our biome and our various apps, our diet.