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A Better Diet May Not Reduce Stress

New research finds that an enriched diet, while helpful for improving blood chemistry altered by stress, did not return the metabolic profile (an indicator of health) to normal.

Research published online in the Journal of Proteome Research, reported the effects on rats of induced-stress and an augmented diet of long-chain polyunsaturated fats, which are normally found in milk and dairy products.

The team from Imperial College London and the Nestle Research Centre divided 36 rats into groups of six. Groups A to D were fed a standard diet, while groups E and F were fed a diet enriched with the long chain polyunsaturated acids (LC-PUFA).

The rats were subjected to different types of stress, one where they were separated from their mothers periodically during the first few weeks of life and a second stress at a later stage where they were placed on a platform suspended above water. Following the tests, samples of blood plasma were taken from the rats and analysed using NMR spectroscopy.

Group A was used as a control group and not subjected to any stress, while groups B, C, and D were subjected to either one or both stresses. Groups E and F were subjected to water avoidance or both maternal separation and water avoidance, as well as being fed the enriched diet.

They found the stress caused by maternal separation led to a decrease in lipoproteins and an increase in amino acids, glucose, lactate, creatine and citrate. The stress caused by the water avoidance resulted in increased levels of O-acetyl glycoproteins.

Giving the rats the LC-PUFA enriched diet did help to improve their metabolic profiles, an indicator of health, although the diet failed to totally normalise them.

Dr Elaine Holmes, from Imperial College London, who led the research said: “Although the study shows this particular dietary intervention did not work to significantly improve health, the importance of a good diet in remaining healthy should not be underestimated.”

“However this work could have important implications for the development of other dietary interventions. The research shows it is possible to accurately measure and quantify how changing diet impacts health. This could ultimately lead to the development of more targeted and more effective products.”

Source: Imperial College London

A Better Diet May Not Reduce Stress

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2015). A Better Diet May Not Reduce Stress. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 21, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2006/07/06/a-better-diet-may-not-reduce-stress/73.html

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 6 Oct 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Oct 2015
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