People with a large amount of abdominal fat are 3.5 times more likely to develop memory loss and dementia, according to recent research.
People with a large amount of abdominal fat are three and a half times more likely to develop memory loss and dementia, according to researchers with Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. They point to a protein called PPARalpha as a potential reason.
People with fat midsections have lower amounts of PPARalpha. The protein controls fat metabolism in the liver but is also found in the hippocampus, where memory and learning are controlled. Carrying excess abdominal fat results initially in depleted PPARalpha levels in the liver, and ultimately in the brain.
“While PPARalpha deficient mice are poor in learning and memory, injection of PPARa to the hippocampus improves learning and memory,” said Dr. Kalipada Pahan. “Our study indicates that people may suffer from memory-related problems only when they lose PPARalpha in the hippocampus…Further research must be conducted to see how we could potentially maintain normal PPARalpha in the brain in order to be resistant to memory loss.”