Weight has long been linked to a wide array of cardiovascular and chronic
disease problems. However,
a new study published this week in the
Neurobiology of Aging has made both the most active health nuts and hesitant newbies want to
be extra careful with future diet choices.
The study analyzed digital 3-D brain images taken of 525 participants from
ages 20-87 with the goal of comparing white matter, brain thickness and
overall surface area. After extensive analysis, the team published a shocking
conclusion: the brains of participants with BMI over 30 has a significantly
reduced amount of white white matter similar to what would be expected
in the brain of someone as much as 10 or 15 years older than the participants
current physical age.
Why do we care about white matter?
Both deteriorating and damaged white matter have long been considered
red flags for a significantly higher risk of Alzheimers and other serious
degenerative brain conditions. And while it is also true that our brains
do naturally shrink with age, this is the first study that found weight
and BMI may directly lead to the speeding up of this aging and shrinking process.
A simple breakdown of what the findings mean:
- The difference in brain-age between those that are lean vs overweight seems
to get exponentially greater as participants get older. There is only
a 0-5 year difference in brain-age between the 20-year-olds. But that
difference grows to 10-15 years by the time the participants reach 50
- To break it down even more simply: this means that while you are technically
50 years old, your brain has aged ahead of you to 60 or 65 years old.
And when we’re looking at serious degenerative conditions —
that difference is huge.
Need more inspiration to keep up your health conscious lifestyle? Or do
you need some convincing to start?
Here are some facts on Alzheimer’s and dementia from the
- Alzheimers is the 6th leading cause of death in the US— 1 in 3 seniors
dies with it or another form of dementia.
- More than 5 million Americans currently are living with Alzheimer’s.
- Every 66 seconds, someone in the US develops the disease.
Neuro-degenerative diseases will cost our country $236 billion in
It kills more people every year than breast
and prostate cancer
Does this new information fuel your existing motivation to live the most
health conscious lifestyle you can? With summer fast approaching, consider
what physical activity and eating habits you can partake in to enjoy your
health to the fullest.
*Article courtesy of Health I.Q.