Will Gaining Weight Make You Dumb?

March 31, 2010 | Byron J. Richards, Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist

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 Will Gaining Weight Make You Dumb?
New research has linked the inflammatory compound C-reactive protein1 (CRP) to a decline in decision-making and cognitive function. Those with the highest levels of CRP had a full decade of extra brain aging. One way to have higher levels of CRP is to be overweight. White adipose tissue generates an inflammatory messenger known as IL-6 which travels from your fat to your liver and directly raises your liver's production of CRP.

The new study was done by German researchers using advanced imaging technology. The average age of the 447 participants was 63. The researcher sought to test decision making skills with a variety of tests while detailing microstructural brain integrity and CRP levels. CRP was proven as an independent variable in the disorganization of healthy brain structure, resulting in poorer cognitive performance.

This is more evidence linking obesity to the early onset of dementia and Alzheimer's, although this study is looking at earlier phases of decline that effect quality of life and ability to function in life at a competitive level (such as holding a job that requires problem-solving skills).

CRP can be lowered by being in a healthy weight loss trend and by consistently exercising. Many nutrients also help lower CRP.

Referenced Studies

  1. ^ C-Reactive Protein and Cognitive Function  Neurology  H. Wersching, MD, T. Duning, MD, H. Lohmann, PhD, S. Mohammadi, PhD, C. Stehling, MD, M. Fobker, MD, M. Conty, J. Minnerup, MD, E.B. Ringelstein, MD, K. Berger, MD, M. Deppe, PhD and S. Knecht, MD.

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