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Can a Western high-fat diet lead to painful neuropathy?

Neuropathy is a painful and potentially crippling disorder that is common in people with diabetes and often affects people with obesity, yet the underlying reason is poorly understood. Boyd al. now reveal that a diet enriched in ω-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) triggers peripheral neuropathy in mice, and this effect is reversed by a diet enriched in ω-3 PUFAs. These findings may help explain the high incidence of neuropathies in people with diet-related obesity without diabetes, and may provide a potential target for the prevention and treatment of this metabolic and neurological disorder.

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Fig. 1: Diets rich in ω-6 PUFAs can trigger painful neuropathy.


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Correspondence to Ru-Rong Ji.

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McGinnis, A., Ji, RR. Can a Western high-fat diet lead to painful neuropathy?. Nat Metab 3, 735–736 (2021).

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