What is the Belly-Brain Link?A solid study of over 6,000 people showed a link between belly fat in mid-life and the development of Alzheimer's disease in later life. These people had their belly fat (abdominal fat) measured when they were in their 40s. After an average of 36 years, 16% of the people in the study developed dementia (a symptom of Alzheimer's disease). People with the highest amounts of belly fat were almost three times more likely to develop dementia than those with the lowest amounts of fat.
Bigger Belly, Triple RiskThis tripling of risk does not bode well for most Americans. Over 50% of us have too much belly fat. Between the increase of risk factors such as belly fat and the longer lifespan of Americans, Alzheimer's disease is expected to become more and more common in the decades ahead.
Does Belly Fat Cause Alzheimer's Disease?We really can't say that at all. Belly fat is linked to a higher risk of dementia (which can develop into Alzheimer's disease), but we don't know if people who put on belly fat may have a genetic difference that also creates an increase on dementia risk. But it seems like keeping off the belly fat is a good idea, not just for your brain but for your heart too.
Keep Off the Belly FatThe best way to trim your belly fat is to watch your diet and increase your exercise (nothing new there). Work on eating more fruits and vegetables and less junk. Here is a simple rule to try: It doesn't count as a vegetable if it touches cheese, butter or cream. Use olive oil and spices to flavor your vegetables, and eat at least 2 fruit snacks every day.
Must Read: How To Add 2 Fruits and Vegetables
Source(s): R. A. Whitmer, D. R. Gustafson, E. Barrett-Connor, M. N. Haan, E. P. Gunderson, and K. Yaffe
Central obesity and increased risk of dementia more than three decades later
Neurology, Sep 2008; 71: 1057 - 1064.
R. A. Whitmer, D. R. Gustafson, E. Barrett-Connor, M. N. Haan, E. P. Gunderson, and K. Yaffe Central obesity and increased risk of dementia more than three decades later Neurology, Sep 2008; 71: 1057 - 1064.