New research claims middle-aged people who are overweight or obese may have greater risk of developing age-related brain diseases. Reuters reports:
The researchers looked at magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) brain scans from 50 healthy middle-aged men and women, measuring amounts of a variety of chemicals in the white and gray matter of the brain. Gray matter consists of the bodies of nerve cells, while white matter is made up of the connections between these cells.Obesity carries with it a lot of health complications. Here’s a brief list from Dr. Fuhrman. Take a look:
Five of the study participants were obese, 15 were overweight, and the remaining 30 were normal weight.
The higher a person's body mass index (BMI), the ratio of body height to weight, the lower the concentration of N-acetyl-aspartate (NAA), a brain chemical that serves several functions and also acts as a marker for overall brain health, in the white matter of the brain's frontal, temporal and parietal regions. Heavier people also had less NAA in their frontal gray matter, and lower concentrations of choline-containing metabolite -- substances key to the formation of cell membranes--in their frontal white matter.
The strongest relationship between BMI and brain chemistry was seen in the white matter of the frontal region, which is believed to be particularly vulnerable to aging-related damage, the researchers note.
- Increased overall mortality
- Adult onset diabetes
- Degenerative arthritis
- Coronary artery disease
- Obstructive sleep apnea
- Fatty infiltration of the liver
- Restrictive lung disease