When most of us look into the mirror and think about needing to lose weight, we’re thinking about that spare tire and muffin top that make fitting into our favorite pair of jeans a challenge.
But there’s another kind of fat that isn’t as apparent when we look in the mirror. It’s called visceral adipose fat (VAT) and it’s stored inside your body around your organs.
Of course, it’s also hard not to think about our weight in terms of our health. Being overweight, especially carrying extra weight around the middle, which usually includes some VAT fat, has been linked to blood sugar problems, cancer and heart disease.
But more research into the effects of visceral or belly fat has found a connection that could lead to problems affecting your brain health down the road…
The connection between visceral fat and cognitive function
Researchers from McMaster University and the University of Calgary recruited 9,166 participants who all had their total body fat measured via bioelectrical impedance. This technique assesses body composition based on the rate at which an electrical current travels through the body.
Almost three-quarters also underwent had MRIs to measure the amount of visceral fat packed around their organs. MRI could also detect any vascular injury in the brain. This is basically when areas of the brain experience reduced blood flow and therefore don’t get the oxygen they need to function at their best.
And the results demonstrated that people with a higher level of visceral or belly fat also have a higher likelihood of blood vessels problems in their brain, putting them at risk for reduced cognitive function.
In other words, too much weight could equal too little brainpower—most likely in the form of oxygen-rich blood flow.
“Our results suggest that strategies to prevent or reduce having too much body fat may preserve cognitive function,” said lead author Sonia Anand, a professor of medicine at McMaster University’s Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine.
Slimming down for better brain health
And these results mean that keeping your brain health could be as simple as taking off any extra weight — which isn’t really all that simple…
Co-author Eric Smith, a neurologist, scientist and associate professor of clinical neurosciences at the University of Calgary, laid it out saying, “Preserving cognitive function is one of the best ways to prevent dementia in old age. This study suggests that one of the ways that good nutrition and physical activity prevent dementia may be by maintaining healthy weight and body fat percentage.”
I agree — good nutrition is a great place to start, and the Mediterranean diet would be my best suggestion. That’s because it is considered the easiest diet to stick to — and lose weight successfully.
But an even stronger reason is that research published by the American Academy of Neurology, suggests, hands-down, that eating a Mediterranean diet confers dementia protection and promotes healthy brain aging.
The diet is full of foods and nutrients that promote brain (and heart) health because they support healthy arteries and blood flow.
Exercise is essential for keeping the blood moving. Even small amounts help; according to one study, walking in two-minute bursts every 30 minutes boosted blood flow and oxygen levels in the brain.
Oral chelation is a safe and non-invasive way to boost circulation and reduce plaque and toxins in your circulatory system. And nattokinase, an enzyme made from fermented soybeans, is great for helping your body naturally combat age-related blood thickening, allowing your blood to flow more smoothly and improving circulation.
And for a little extra help to make the pounds melt away, try probiotics to turn up your metabolic furnace.
Editor’s note: Have you heard of EDTA chelation therapy? It was developed originally to remove lead and other contaminants, including heavy metals, from the body. Its uses now run the gamut from varicose veins to circulation. Click here to discover Chelation: Natural Miracle for Protecting Your Heart and Enhancing Your Health!