Tuesday June 25, 2019

Obesity May Leads to Reduced Cognitive Function

People who are overweight do not perform as well on tests of memory and visuospatial ability compared to those with an average weight.

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Obesity, Asthma
Asthma may up obesity risk. Pixabay

Being obese in older age may lead to poor brain health as higher waist-hip ratio was associated with reduced cognitive function, according to a study.

The association could be explained by an increased secretion of inflammatory markers by belly fat, which has been previously associated with a higher risk of impaired cognition.

Previous studies showed that people who are overweight do not perform as well on tests of memory and visuospatial ability compared to those with an average weight.

For the study, the researchers recruited more than 200 participants who were 60 years and older and used Facebook for at least a year.
High BMI reduces learning ability, Pixabay

“While we have known for some time that obesity is associated with negative health consequences, our study adds to emerging evidence suggesting that obesity and where we deposit our excess weight could influence our brain health. This has significant public health implications,” said Conal Cunningham from Trinity College Dublin in Ireland.

Also Read: Obesity Alone Does not Increase Death Risk: Study

For the study, published in the British Journal of Nutrition, the team analysed data from over 5,000 individuals.

These findings may have significant implications as the global prevalence of dementia is predicted to increase from 24.3 million in 2001 to 81.1 million by 2040.

Reducing obesity could offer a cost-effective public health strategy for the prevention of cognitive decline, the researchers noted. (IANS)

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Having a Cup of Coffee Can Help You Fight Obesity, Diabetes

“The results were positive and we now need to ascertain that caffeine as one of the ingredients in the coffee is acting as the stimulus or if there’s another component helping with the activation of brown fat. We are currently looking at caffeine supplements to test whether the effect is similar,” Symonds added

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coffee
A patron holds an iced beverage at a Starbucks coffee store in Pasadena, Calif., July 25, 2013. VOA

Drinking a cup of coffee can be helpful in fighting obesity and diabetes as it stimulates body’s fat-fighting defences, says a new study.

The study, published in Scientific Reports journal, found components which could have a direct effect on “brown fat” functions, an important part of the human body which plays a key role in how quickly we can burn calories as energy.A

Brown adipose tissue (BAT), also known as brown fat, is one of two types of fat found in humans and other mammals. Its main function is to generate body heat by burning calories (opposed to white fat, which is a result of storing excess calories).

People with a lower body mass index (BMI) therefore have a higher amount of brown fat.

“Brown fat works in a different way to other fat in your body and produces heat by burning sugar and fat, often in response to cold. Increasing its activity improves blood sugar control as well as improving blood lipid levels and the extra calories burnt help with weight loss,” said study’s co-director Michael Symonds, Professor at the University of Nottingham.. A

“This is the first study in humans to show that something like a cup of coffee can have a direct effect on our brown fat functions. The potential implications of our results are pretty big, as obesity is a major health concern for society and we also have a growing diabetes epidemic and brown fat could potentially be part of the solution in tackling them,” he noted.

A barista pours steamed milk into a cup of coffee at a cafe in Los Angeles, Sept. 22, 2017. State health officials proposed a regulation change Friday that would declare coffee doesn't present a significant cancer risk, countering a California court ruling.
A barista pours steamed milk into a cup of coffee at a cafe in Los Angeles, Sept. 22, 2017. VOA

For the study, the researcehes started with a series of stem cell studies to see if caffeine would stimulate brown fat. After finding the right dose, they then moved on to humans to see if the results were similar.

They used a thermal imaging technique to trace the body’s brown fat reserves. The non-invasive technique helps the team to locate brown fat and assess its capacity to produce heat.

“From our previous work, we knew that brown fat is mainly located in the neck region, so we were able to image someone straight after they had a drink to see if the brown fat got hotter,” he said.

Also Read: Poor Sleep Quality Associated with Reduced Memory in Senior Citizens

“The results were positive and we now need to ascertain that caffeine as one of the ingredients in the coffee is acting as the stimulus or if there’s another component helping with the activation of brown fat. We are currently looking at caffeine supplements to test whether the effect is similar,” Symonds added.

“Once we have confirmed which component is responsible for this, it could potentially be used as part of a weight management regime or as part of glucose regulation programme to help prevent diabetes,” he concluded. (IANS)