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Typical Western Diet is Bad for the Brain


It appears that eating a typical western diet, high in red meat and processed foods can negatively impact the brain, specifically the region known as the hippocampus. The hippocampus is an area located at the base of the brain that is involved in long-term memory, which includes all past knowledge and experiences. It also plays an important role in connecting those memories to our emotions. It is linked to mood regulation as well, such as in depression. The hippocampus is a very important part of the brain and is vital to our survival. It is tucked away on the underside of the brain where it is well-protected.

However, a new study published in BMC Medicine shows that the western diet actually shrinks the left hippocampus. Over a four-year period, researchers found a 62% reduction in hippocampal volume. Meanwhile, those in the study who ate a healthy diet, comprised of lots of vegetables, fish and fruit saw an increase in their hippocampal volume.

This study shows the potential for diet to improve health outcomes in persons with age-related degeneration and mood disorders. The study also illustrates the benefits of healthy eating patterns on mental health and general well-being.

The complete article can be accessed here:

Resources for further reading:

Jacka, F. N., Cherbuin, N., Anstey, K. J., Sachdev, P., & Butterworth, P. (2015). Western diet is associated with a smaller hippocampus: a longitudinal investigation. BMC medicine, 13(1), 215. Retrieved from:

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To make an appointment call us at:
Tomball Office:      281-290-8188
South Loop Office: 713-808-9781
Bryan Office:          979-383-2074
Lufkin Office:         936-229-3621