A high-fat diet, after all, is not that bad. Latest research suggests that it can help delay the ageing process and brain ageing.
The groundbreaking discovery is expected to help children affected with premature ageing and treat neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.
"Our study suggests that a high-fat diet can postpone aging processes. A diet high in fat also seems to postpone the aging of the brain," lead researcher Professor Vilhelm Bohr from the Center for Healthy Aging, University of Copenhagen and the National Institute of Health, said in a news release.
It's a system in the human cells that protects the DNA and repairs the damages caused to it. The repair system becomes less efficient as people become aged.
Previous studies have linked similar damages in the DNA to Alzheimer's disease.
In the new study, researchers conducted experiments on mouse models and found a similarity between defects in the DNA repair system and cockayne syndrome, a disorder that leads to premature ageing during childhood.
They also found that a high-fat diet was highly effective in suspending some symptoms associated with ageing, including weight loss and hearing difficulties.
The ageing process speeds up when the cell repair mechanism fails to get a non-stop supply of fats and eating a diet high in fatty acids can provide a positive result, the researchers, while explaining their study, said.
"In cells from children with Cockayne syndrome, we have previously demonstrated that aging is a result of the cell repair mechanism being constantly active. It eats into the resources and causes the cell to age very quickly. We therefore hope that a diet with a high content of coconut oil or similar fats will have a beneficial effect, because the brain cells are given extra fuel and thus the strength to repair the damage," postdoc Morten Scheibye-Knudsen from the National Institute of Health, said.
The findings of the study have been reported in Cell Metabolism.
A study released in March this year contradicts the latest research. Researchers found that high fat diet in pregnancy increased the risk of Alzheimer's disease in children.