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Brain Tissue May Waste Away in Obese Women

Last Saturday's newsletter reported the results of a study about one of the newest perils of obesity: cognitive decline. A Swedish study has found those concerns were more than justified, especially for women.

Researchers discovered women who have been obese throughout their lives are more likely to lose brain tissue in their temporal lobe -- thus be increasingly more prone to Alzheimer's disease and cognitive decline -- compared to females of normal weight.

The only significant relationship between body mass index (BMI) and brain atrophy was found in the temporal lobe, scientists said. A higher BMI accounted for about 8 percent of all dementia.

The lead researcher had some interesting theories about how obesity and the loss of brain tissue are connected:

  • More fat causes higher oxidative stress, resulting in an increase of free radicals in the body.
  • Fat leads to atherosclerosis, which can limit oxygen flow to the brain.
  • Fat causes the release of hormones and growth factors that are harmful to brain tissue, causing brain atrophy.

Although scientists don't know if this brain atrophy applies to men or if the effect can be modified by losing weight, this discovery fits with previous research that showed how BMI correlates with Alzheimer's disease.

If you are suffering from obesity you must start improving your diet and your lifestyle RIGHT NOW. By losing weight, you will improve your energy level, boost your emotional well-being and enhance your ability to stay focused. Most importantly, you will improve the overall quality of your life. The best way to start losing weight is to learn more about the right kind of foods you should eat based on your personal nutritional type.

Yahoo News November 22, 2004

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