Obesity Accelerates Brain Aging

From Dr. Mercola:

It’s become a well-known fact that excess sugar harms your health by setting up the conditions for obesity and diabetes. Research1 has also shown a steady diet high in high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) can significantly impair your cognitive abilities by producing a decline in synaptic activity.

In one animal study, rats fed fructose syrup for six weeks showed signs of cognitive impairment, as they struggled to find their way out of a maze. Their brain cells had trouble signaling each other, disrupting the rats’ ability to think clearly and recall the route they’d learned six weeks earlier.

The fructose-fed rats also showed signs of resistance to insulin, a hormone that — in addition to controlling your blood sugar — also controls synaptic function in your brain.

Because insulin is able to pass through your blood-brain barrier, it can trigger neurological processes that are important for learning and memory. Consuming large amounts of fructose may block insulin’s ability to regulate how your brain cells store and use sugar for the energy needed to fuel thoughts and emotions.

Considering the fact that HFCS, which is so prevalent in processed foods, is a major risk factor for obesity, it’s not such a stretch to imagine that obesity may be linked to declining brain health as well. In fact, this is precisely what studies show.

Obesity Speeds Up Brain Aging

Most recently, a study published in the journal Neurobiology of Aging found structural changes in the brains of overweight people — changes typically seen in far older individuals. As reported in the Borneo Post:2

“After scanning brains of 473 people aged between 20 and 87 and dividing them into lean and overweight categories, scientists discovered that extra weight would accelerate the loss of the brain’s white matter … …

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