"Age-related" fat impairs brain function

Scientists from the University of Iowa (USA) found that fat accumulating after 40-50 years, affects the flexibility of thinking and intelligence. As we age, the body begins to lose muscle mass and actively store fat. Experts studied how this process affects the brain in a study involving about 4.5 thousand people, whose data were taken from the British Biobank.

It turned out that the greatest damage to mental activity is caused by excessive accumulation of fat in the abdomen. And, first of all, mobile intelligence suffers, that is, the ability to quickly navigate in unfamiliar situations. According to the researchers, this process may be associated with the work of the immune system: in people with excess deposits in the abdomen, the ratio of cells involved in immune responses in the blood changed.

Thus, women with an abdominal type of obesity had an increased level of eosinophils, and a reduced level of lymphocytes; men had a reduced level of basophils, and the concentration of lymphocytes was increased. Scientists believe that changes in general immunity affect the work of the brain's defense systems, which leads to intellectual disorders.

Experts emphasize that the key method of preventing age-related deterioration of the brain is physical activity, which allows you to maintain muscle mass. Experts recommend people over the age of 40 to be engaged in weight training, as well as a lot of walking at a fast pace. 

Dec. 18, 2019, 10:59 a.m.

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