Seed oils are the cooking fats found in most processed foods. Soybean oil, sunflower oil, and canola oil are some of the most common seed oils. Manufacturers like to use them instead of traditional fats like butter or beef tallow. Unfortunately, it seems clear that seed oils are very bad for our health.
Seed Oils and Depression
Seed oils produce inflammation in your body, because they are high in omega-6 polyunsaturated fats (PUFA). Omega 6 has been found to be highly inflammatory. Because of inflammation, it leads to obesity and even cancer. Depression too has been linked with inflammation. Scientists find that depressed people have higher levels of inflammation in their brains, and less of the good brain chemicals that protect you from brain inflammation. In fact, all kinds of mental distress and mental disorders are found to involve brain inflammation.
Studies show that people with depression have higher levels of IL-6 and IL-4. These are markers of brain inflammation. This inflammation seems to either cause brain damage or be caused by brain damage, as it is found in people suffering from traumatic brain injuries as well. In fact, many people who have suffered traumatic brain injuries go on to develop depression.
How to Protect Your Brain
At the same time as the brain inflammation, there is also a decrease in allopregnanolone, which is a brain chemical called a neurosteroid. Neurosteroids protect your brain from inflammation. They make the connections in your brain work properly (myelinization) Your brain works best when the brain cells can quickly and efficiently make electrical connections between each other, and neurosteroids are needed to keep these connections in good repair and operating quickly. The neurosteroid allopregnanolone is very low in the brains of people with depression and other disorders.
Depression and Slow Metabolism
People with depression are found to have a slower metabolism than others. This makes sense, since depression typically involves slowing down and feeling fatigued. Similarly, a slow metabolism, in addition to fat gain, generally causes low energy and brain fog. So if a depressed person could make their metabolism faster and get some more energy, it might help a lot with the depression. Seed oils are thought to slow the metabolism greatly because of their PUFA content. Some studies find that PUFA causes a slower metabolism, and that a diet with very low PUFA causes a much faster metabolism. This would lead to increased energy, as well as less fat gain. So removing seed oil might possibly help with the fatigue of depression by speeding up the metabolism.