Link found between oversized waists and smaller brains - research

Sleep helps the brain consolidate memories and clear out waste. Lack of sleep can affect your reaction time your memory and how well you process information. Chronic sleep loss can put you at risk for diabetes heart disease and stroke and speed up the

Sleep helps the brain consolidate memories and clear out waste. Lack of sleep can affect your reaction time your memory and how well you process information. Chronic sleep loss can put you at risk for diabetes heart disease and stroke and speed up the

"We also found links between obesity and shrinkage in specific regions of the brain".

Lower brain volume, or brain shrinkage, has been linked with an increased risk of memory decline and dementia.

To look at the possible effect of carrying extra weight on these brain volumes, the researchers determined participants' obesity by measuring body mass index (BMI), a weight-to-height ratio calculated by dividing a person's weight by the square of their height. They looked at nearly 1,000 people, with an average age of 55, accounting for all kinds of other factors that could potentially sway the results, such as age and how physically active they were.

Among people with higher BMIs, those with thicker waists had lower grey matter brain volumes than those who were slimmer round the middle.

However, the study found only an association between belly fat and lower brain volume, and can not prove that carrying more fat around the waist actually causes brain shrinkage. Participants had their BMI and waist-to-hip ratio measured, and underwent an MRI to determine their brain volumes.

"While our study found obesity, especially around the middle, was associated with lower gray matter brain volumes, it's unclear if abnormalities in brain structure lead to obesity, or if obesity leads to these changes in the brain", study author Dr Mark Hamer said in a statement. It's tied to greater health risks than subcutaneous fat, or fat that's stored just under the skin.

The discovery points to a link between excess body fat and impaired mental ability or dementia. In the end they found that high BMI linked to smaller brain volume.

Though the study didn't look at potential mechanisms linking visceral fat and brain shrinkage, one hypothesis is that this type of fat is thought to produce inflammatory substances that may play a role in brain atrophy, the researchers said. The white matter, however, did not appear to be affected by obesity.

"All this goes to show that good general health is very important for good brain health", Devi told Live Science.

Notícias recomendadas

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.