A Larger Waistline Can Mean Shrinking Brain Power
You have heard me say many times a larger waistline means a shorter life line. No surprise here. Toxic belly fat is directly related to insulin resistance which leads to pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes. We also know excess fat around the midsection increases cardiovascular risk and even cancer risk. That is enough reason to wage war on toxic belly fat. Recent studies on brain power are giving us even more reasons to continue the battle of the bulge.
We know that excess fat in the body causes more inflammation by producing a series of dangerous inflammatory chemicals that can increase free radical damage. Free radical damage is believed to be a major contributor to accelerated aging. More free radicals in the body translates into more degenerative diseases, which are the diseases of aging such as heart disease, cancer, arthritis etc. The brain has a special protective mechanism called the blood-brain barrier which does not allow certain toxic substances to enter into brain cells. Until recently, we thought that this wonderful barrier could keep these dangerous inflammatory chemicals out of the delicate cells of your brain.
In fact, this important barrier does keep many unwanted substances from effecting the brain power and is absolutely essential to preserve proper brain function. Recent studies, however, are showing that the harmful chemicals generated from excess belly fat are actually attacking the blood-brain barrier itself. This allows destructive chemicals more access to your important brain cells. These chemicals can now attack the memory center switching station of the brain called the hippocampus. Protecting this area of the brain is important to guard against dementia and even Alzheimer’s disease.
Before you get too discouraged about the damage that may have already been done to your own blood-brain barrier I should let you know there are two important things you can to to restore this damage. Number one is rather obvious, simply lose the belly fat. The healing process increases as the waistline decreases. Number two, consistent exercise is also very helpful to re-strengthen the barrier and improve mental sharpness. Physical activity even increases a special brain protein called brain-derived neurotrophic factor which stimulates new brain cell growth and new connections between brain cells.
Don’t let obesity start to drain your brain power. Now is the time to step up the fight on toxic belly fat. Not only will you be combating heart disease, cancer, pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes, you will be protecting your ability to remember why you are doing it in the first place.