Alright ladies, grab a Hot Pocket and bag of Cheetos and dive into this article!!
Good news for overweight women â€“ being overweight could help protect your brain! Finally someone has come up with a study that shows positive memory effects from being overweight.
According to â€œBrain Structure and Obesityâ€ an article included in the Cardiovascular Prevention Program “CorazÃ³n Sano,” in Argentina, fat may actually help protect women from age-related cognitive decline in post-menopausal woman.
The study involved 300 post-menopausal women with the average age of 60. From this group, 158 were classified as obese (waist circumference of at least 88cm, or a body mass index (BMI) of over 30). The researchers found that the higher BMI was linked to higher cognitive scores.Â
The scores were taken from the cumulative scores from three tests: The Mini-Mental Statement Examination (MMSE), a clock-drawing test, and the Boston Abbreviated Test.
Researchers found that both BMI and waist circumference were positively related to higher scores on both the MMSE and a composite cognitive score from all three tests. This would suggest that the estrogen produced in a womanâ€™s fat cells help to protect cognitive function. Cognitive function includes the ability to hold attention, focus, memorizing and remembering what you have learned, understanding language, making decisions and problem solving.
This same team of researchers had previously challenged findings by other scientists that link metabolic syndrome to poorer cognitive function. They found no association between the two, but they did find the potential for metabolic syndrome and cognitive decline was higher in males than females, and actually did link high inflammatory levels with executive function impairment as well as higher systolic blood pressure with mental decline. In other words, the fat may not be the problem, but inflammation is.
If the fat you store is not associated with health risks, then it would stand to reason that it would not be harmful to your brainâ€™s function either. Perhaps the fat and the estrogen could be related, since men donâ€™t seem to have the same protection as women after menopause. However it shakes out, there definitely needs to be more study on the subject, since it contradicts other studies that suggest obese peopleâ€™s brains age more than lean people â€“ yet those who are overweight but not obese have healthier brain function than that of their lean counterparts.
Pass the pie ladies we have some brain cells to protect!
About the author:
Ron White is a two-time USA Memory Champion and memory speaker. He speaks at seminars and to large groups all over the world on how to improve memory and memory techniques. In addition, his website BrainAthlete.com sells CDs and programs to improve memory skills and advise for success.
Mempowered – Obesity linked to better cognition in post-menopausal women: http://www.memory-key.com/research/news/obesity-linked-better-cognition-post-menopausal-women
Zilberman, J.M., Del Sueldo, M., Cerezo, G., Castellino, S., Theiler, E. & Vicario, A. 2011. Association Between Menopause, Obesity, and Cognitive Impairment. Presented at the Physiology of Cardiovascular Disease: Gender Disparities conference, October 12, at the University of Mississippi in Jackson.
Vicario, A., Del Sueldo, M., Zilberman, J. & Cerezo, G.H. 2011. The association between metabolic syndrome, inflammation and cognitive decline. Presented at the European Society of Hypertension (ESH) 2011: 21st European Meeting on Hypertension, June 17 – 20, Milan, Italy.