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LMU 99 – Battling Brain Aging: The Weighty Link Between Abdominal Fat and Cognitive Decline


LMU 99 – Battling Brain Aging: The Weighty Link Between Abdominal Fat and Cognitive Decline

Source: British Journal of Nutrition (July 2018)

Lifestyle Medicine Update (August 10, 2018)


In the realm of health, the intricate connection between body and mind continues to unfold. A seminal study, unveiled in the British Journal of Nutrition in July 2018, spotlighted the profound interplay between weight and cognitive health. As whispers of cognitive decline, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease become louder with age, this study surfaced as a beacon of insight, unravelling the weighty implications that excess pounds hold for our brain’s longevity.

A Bridge Between Weight and Mind: The Study’s Genesis

Amidst the sea of research, a study emerged bearing the hallmark of importance. Rooted in the British Journal of Nutrition, the study illuminated a well-tread path—one that had previously connected being overweight with cognitive decline. Yet, this exploration delved deeper, carving a niche within the realm of weight distribution. The canvas stretched across 5,000 individuals, a congregation beyond the age of 60. As participants embarked on a journey of cognitive assessment, their minds traversed the labyrinth of neuropsychological and memory tests. Their bodies too bore witness to this saga, subjected to a symphony of physical examinations and the scrutiny of blood work analysis.

A Mirror of Consequence: The Abdominal Fat Connection

As the tapestry of data unfurled, a revelation etched in bold strokes—the perilous dance between higher abdominal fat and cognitive function. The waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) emerged as a key protagonist, unveiling its role as a harbinger of reduced cognitive function. This cast of individuals, adorned with higher WHR, bore a distinctive mark—elevated inflammatory markers graced their blood analyses, accompanied by a resounding higher hemoglobin A1c reading (HbA1c).

Inflammation’s Veil: Unmasking the Brain Damage Culprit

The plot thickened as researchers peeled back the layers, revealing a sinister undercurrent. Abdominal fat, a silent perpetrator, was unmasked as a source of inflammation. Inflammatory chemicals known as cytokines, secreted by abdominal fat, ignited a cascade of events that fan the flames of brain inflammation, promoting the brain damage intimately associated with dementia and cognitive decline. As the dust settled, one blood marker stood resolute—the high-specific C-Reactive Protein blood test (hs-CRP). This test painted a vivid picture, tracing the footsteps of inflammation as it meandered through blood vessels, setting ablaze brain cells and vascular territories alike.

The Sugar-Coated Assault: Blood Sugar and Brain Health

A grand revelation emerged, casting a spotlight on blood sugar’s sinister undercurrents. Like a stealthy infiltrator, elevated blood sugar coated the hemoglobin within red blood cells with a sugary veneer. This sugar-coated hemoglobin, a harbinger of destruction, precipitated the crystallization of damage—a cascade that wreaked havoc upon blood vessels, setting the stage for inflammation to cast its suffocating web. Amid this vortex, a new character emerged—the hemoglobin A1c test. A higher reading, a clarion call, heralded the union of excess abdominal fat with cognitive decline.

The Belly Fat Equation: Weight, Cognitive Decline, and Hope

Amid the labyrinth of findings, a truth beckoned—weight, in its entirety, might not wield the reins of age-related cognitive decline. Instead, a specific facet—excess abdominal fat—stood resolute as the harbinger of risk. The message woven into this revelation was unequivocal—those harboring the burden of abdominal fat must heed its siren call. An intervention is more than a lifeline—it’s a passport to uncharted territories, away from the precipice of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. The researchers’ counsel echoed through the corridors of prevention—trim the excess, recalibrate the abdominal score, and check the vitals. Elevations in C-reactive protein and HbA1c, once abated, relinquish their dominion over the menacing shadow of cognitive decline.

The Symphony of Reversal: A Tale of Hope

As the study unfurled, it bore testimony to a truth often sidelined—excess abdominal fat is not an immutable destiny. A symphony of hope resonated through its findings, revealing a harmonious dance between prudent dietary practices and regular physical activity. The equation, though weighty, bore the promise of reversal—a beacon for those in pursuit of cognitive longevity.

Conclusion: An Overture of Wellness

In the annals of health, this study’s revelation resounds—a triumphant ode to the unity of body and mind. The symphony of evidence unveiled a bridge—one that traversed from abdominal fat to cognitive decline. As the curtain fell on this study, it rose on a journey of intervention—a path where abdominal fat is not a lament, but a beacon towards cognitive vitality.


  1. Ntlholang O et al. (2018). The relationship between adiposity and cognitive function in a large community-dwelling population: data from the Trinity Ulster Department of Agriculture (TUDA) ageing cohort study. British J Nutr.
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  2. C-Reactive Protein and Cognitive Decline: in Journal of Dement Geriatr Cogn Dis Extra (2016).
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  3. Central Obesity and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein in metabolic syndrome: Int J Obesity (2005).
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Eat Smart, Live Well, Look Great,

Dr. Meschino

Dr. James Meschino


Dr. James Meschino, DC, MS, ROHP, is an educator, author, and researcher having lectured to thousands of healthcare professionals across North America. He holds a Master’s Degree in Science with specialties in human nutrition and biology and is recognized as an expert in the field of nutrition, anti-aging, fitness, and wellness as well as the author of numerous books.

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