What if your teenager eating fast food and a highly processed diet was setting their long term mood thermostat? Well it appears, that might be what is actually occurring. Researchers from Emory University have discovered that mice fed a high-fructose diet during adolescence led to higher stress response leading to set the neuronal pathways for depression and anxiety. Yet, this same finding wasn’t evident in the adult mice fed the same high fructose diet. “It also stimulates neural pathways that affect how the brain responds to stress, which can have important behavioral effects, including the worsening of symptoms related to depression and anxiety. Such effects are of particular concern during the teen years, which is a critical time for the development of the brain's stress response, “as noted by lead author Constance Harrell of Emory University in Atlanta 1.
So what is a high fructose diet anyways you may ask? Fruits and vegetables naturally contain fructose, as does honey. Those foods most likely aren’t the issue. It’s more like this problematic list of high fructose sources:
· High Fructose Corn Syrup
· Agave Nectar
· Processed foods containing adding sugars
· Sugar-sweetened beverages
· High Energy Drinks
Sources: 1. Emory Health Sciences. "High-fructose diet in adolescence may exacerbate depressive-like behavior." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 November 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/11/141118141852.htm>.