Losing weight boosts memory

 
By Shayna Brouker • Published: July 29th, 2011
Category: Health in a Heartbeat
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Dropping pounds could make you slimmer, healthier and smarter. How’s that for a triple win?

According to a Kent State University study, obese people who lost weight found better brain power, memory and concentration along with their new size.

The study showed that losing an average of fifty pounds through beriatric surgery improved patients’ cognitive abilities, such as memory and organization skills.

Another group of study subjects who remained obese and did not lose weight actually saw their memories decline.

Past research has shown that overweight and obese people and those with metabolic syndrome face a greater risk for memory and cognitive impairments. People with metabolic syndrome tend to have excess belly fat and insulin resistance as well as high blood pressure, high blood sugar and elevated levels of triglycerides in the blood.

One study found that people with metabolic syndrome were twenty percent more likely to have cognitive decline on the memory test than those who do not have it. They also were thirteen percent more likely to show cognitive decline on a visual memory test compared with those at a healthy weight.

Researchers say it makes sense that slimming down can make you smarter. Blood pressure decreases as pounds fall away, allowing more blood to flow to the brain. But there’s more to it … only a few of the patients in the Kent State study went from having hypertension to no longer having it, so other physiological changes must take place as well. And the question remains whether patients can achieve weight loss with better brain function through diet and exercise too, not just bariatric surgery.

Whatever the cause, there’s no denying an active lifestyle can give you both brawn and brains.