Nov 27, 2012
Lose Weight for Brain Gain
Two new studies—both published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition (JACN, vol. 31, no. 2, 2012)—show how healthy nutrition habits can boost brainpower.
Being overweight is a well-known risk factor for cognitive decline and dementia, with people who are overweight experiencing a 74% higher risk for developing dementia later in life compared to people of normal weight (and the dementia risk is much higher if your overweight is also combined with diabetes, high cholesterol, or high blood pressure). Previous studies have shown that even modest weight loss is associated with improvements in insulin resistance (“pre-diabetes”) and blood vessel function (vascular reactivity), and those changes in glucose control and blood flow are associated with improved memory, faster problem solving (“executive function”) and a significantly lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease.