A Fat Stomach Sets the Stage for Cognitive Decline

April 2, 2008 | Byron J. Richards, Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist

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 A Fat Stomach Sets the Stage for Cognitive Decline
A three decade study looked into the relationship between abdominal fat1 and the risk for developing dementia. The findings are not good news for any person with extra weight around the middle. It was revealed that the larger your waistline in your 40s, the greater the risk for developing dementia in later life.

This is not good news for any person who plans to live a long time, as the great majority of centenarians do not have significant signs of dementia or cognitive decline.

The study results are not unexpected, as we now know that extra abdominal fat is a significant source of inflammatory signals that interact with the nervous system as a form of stress. This study simply points out that such a stress burden over the course of three decades is adequate to weaken the nervous system and cause a loss of mental function – putting people on a collision course with Alzheimer's. The handwriting is on the wall; who will pay attention?

Referenced Studies

  1. ^ Central Obesity and Cognitive Decline  Neurology  R. A. Whitmer PhD, D. R. Gustafson PhD, E. Barrett-Connor MD, M. N. Haan DrPH, E. P. Gunderson PhD, and K. Yaffe MD.

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