Disease Proof

Packing on the Pounds May Lead to "Severe Brain Degeneration"

This is creepy! A new study in the journal Human Brain Mapping claims obese people have 8% less brain train tissue than normal-weight people. I guess you really do have to be stupid to eat fast food:

Obese people had lost brain tissue in the frontal and temporal lobes, areas of the brain critical for planning and memory, and in the anterior cingulate gyrus (attention and executive functions), hippocampus (long-term memory) and basal ganglia (movement), the researchers said in a statement today. Overweight people showed brain loss in the basal ganglia, the corona radiata, white matter comprised of axons, and the parietal lobe (sensory lobe).

"The brains of obese people looked 16 years older than the brains of those who were lean, and in overweight people looked 8 years older," Paul Thompson, senior author of the study and a UCLA professor of neurology said.

No pun intended, but this is a no-brainer. Dr. Fuhrman insists its America’s poor diet that makes us overweight and sick with chronic disease, same goes for dementia:

The same factors that cause atherosclerosis, leading to heart attacks and strokes, also create dementia, and I am referring to both vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s. This includes the same diets that are high in animal fat and low in vitamins, minerals, fruits, and green vegetables.1 Of course, smoking and lack of physical exercise play a role in these common diseases, but the point is that it does not have to happen to you. These diseases, and others that plague modern America, are not the inevitable consequences of aging. They can actually resolve and improve with age or can be avoided entirely. They are simply the result of years of poor nutrition and an unhealthy lifestyle.

My hope for you is that through this eating-style, you, like my patients who have embraced this program, can rid yourself of migraine headaches, acne, autoimmune diseases, and diabetes. So many of my patients have restored their health after conventional physicians—and the conventional beliefs about the inevitability of disease— told them their problems were going to be life long. Their doctors were wrong.

So to help ensure your diet doesn’t make you demented. Dr. Fuhrman suggests eating plenty of nuts and seeds, like walnuts and pumpkin seeds. They’re packed with brain-building omega-3 fatty acids.

1. Commenges D, Scotet V, Renaud S, et al. Intake of flavonoids and risk of dementia. Eur J Epidemiol. 2000;16(4):357-363. Otsuka M, Yamaguchi K, Ueki A. Similarities and differences between Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia from the viewpoint of nutrition. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2002;977:155-161. Nash DT, Fillit H. Cardiovascular disease risk factors and cognitive impairment. Am J Cardiol. 2006;97(8):1262-1265.

Image credit: füthart

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Comments (5) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Tiltmom - August 26, 2009 9:24 AM

"I guess you really do have to be stupid to eat fast food!"

Or maybe just uneducated. Or from a poor neighborhood where healthy alternatives are scarce and expensive.

I agree that fast food is not healthful and it's an unwise choice to make. But calling people who haven't been as lucky as yourself to stumble upon Dr. Fuhrman's way of eating 'stupid' is obnoxious and offensive, and not likely to win over any converts to a healthier way of eating.

Gerry Pugliese - August 26, 2009 12:09 PM

Lighten up. Where's your sense of humor. ;)

Peace.
-Gerry

vfs - August 27, 2009 8:36 AM

Not everyone who is overweight eats poorly. You can't tell a person's cholesterol level, or whether they eat fast food or a raw vegan diet, merely by looking at them or by measuring their body fat. I have a great sense of humor, and I'm annoyed with your flip response to Tiltmom's comments. Also, not a fan of giving haters even more excuses to discriminate against fat people (fat = unhealthy moron). Present the evidence and some context so that lay people can understand (is it literally the excess weight that causes the loss of brain tissue? How? Or is it the consumption of animal products & sugar & salt & smoking, drinking, etc.? I'd find that more helpful.

Nadine - August 27, 2009 10:34 AM

I couldn't agree more with these 2 posts Gerry! You have a sarcastic sense of humor as do I. Quite often I find myself having to assuage hurt feelings due to sarcasm not meant to hurt or offend. That being said, even I have been taken aback, even offended by some of your comments in the past. Not everybody thinks the way you do.
This blog is (should be) a reflection of Dr. Fuhrman, not you. I have found Dr. Fuhrman to alway be discerning & most importantly, professional, I (we) suggest you do the same.
It's hard to live down the words, 'obnoxious & offensive'.
(BTW, I do know that you're a great guy!)

Steve - August 27, 2009 11:42 AM

Hi Gerry

vfs - are you expecting Gerry to analyze these studies? I think that is asking rather a lot (of course I'm not implying that Gerry is stupid ;-).

Cheers, Steve

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