Belly Fat Linked to Dementia

A recent study conducted in California has linked belly fat to dementia. Dementia is the medical term for a group of brain disorders affecting ones memory, language, learning and behavior. Alzheimer is the most common and dementia rarely occurs before ages of sixty.

The study was conducted on over 6000 people and suggests that the higher the ratio of belly fat in your mid-40s, the greater the risk of acquiring dementia. Upon entering the study, participants ranged in ages 40 to 45 between the years of 1964 through 1973. The participants were followed up until 2006 where they were as old at 87.

They found that a waistline of 39 inches or higher faced more than three times the chance of developing dementia compared to a lean waist line. This was also true for those who were not obese yet had a lot of belly fat.

The fat was measured by researches through a method known as sagittal abdominal diameter (SAD). The studies found no such correlation for fat deposits in the thigh area. However, even after accounting for other diseases, bad habits, and lower education – the risk for dementia increased steadily with the amount of fat in the abdomen.

People with big bellies were still twice as likely to acquire dementia even though their Body Mass Index (BMI) was considered healthy. A (BMI) determines whether an person is overweight or obese. Furthermore, a large girth with an apparent healthy (BMI) was at the same risk as those who were overweight or obese.

The studies conclude that fat around the abdomen is the most dangerous. Belly fat is the worst because of its proximity to major organs. The fat around the stomach is more metabolically active and secretes lethal chemicals fueling inflammation and constricting the blood vessels, which damage the brain cells. Moreover, belly fat may also advance the accumulation of amyloid which is a substance connected to Alzheimer’s. Research has also indicated that obese people have a higher level of amyloid in their blood.

These findings acknowledge another good reason for individuals to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle. In order to know where you stand in terms of your risk for disease use a tape measure to size up your waistline. Be sure to breathe normally and don’t suck your stomach in while measuring. A belly circumference of 33 inches or more for women represents an unhealthy amount of belly fat. According to experts, a belly size of 39 inches or more for men increases the risk for chronic disease.

Researches conclude that the best way to reduce the risk of disease in later years is to exercise regularly every day. Try to focus on major muscle groups and the good news is when one becomes active the first kind of fat loss is in the midsection.

Eat healthfully by choosing lean and natural foods. Replace saturated fat with polyunsaturated fat and increase your intake of complex carbohydrates like fruits and fiber. Reduce carbohydrates like pasta and white bread and if you need to loose weight reduce portion sizes and calorie intake.

Lastly, reduce stress and anxiety by leaving work at the office and focusing on activities that encourage rest and relaxation. Yoga is a good option because it reduces stress and is a gentle form of exercise.

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