- Visceral fat in the belly has been found to be associated with higher levels of proteins that impede brain communication.
- Researchers say developing ways to assess visceral fat could help early detection of Alzheimer’s disease.
- Experts say reducing belly fat could help reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease..
Middle-aged adults who have visceral fat surrounding their internal organs in the belly may be at higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
Such fatty deposits could trigger changes in the brain linked to Alzheimer’s disease up to 15 years before symptoms of the neurological disease appear – and as early as age 50 – according to a study presented at annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America.
The results have not yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal.
In their study, the researchers sought to identify associations between amyloid and tau proteins – known to interfere with cellular communication in the brain – with high body mass index (BMI), obesity, insulin resistance and abdominal fat in middle-aged people who had no signs of cognitive problems.
Researchers led by Dr Mahsa Dolatshahipostdoctoral researcher at the Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology (MIR) at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, previously
Higher levels of visceral fat were also associated with increased inflammation in the brain, these researchers reported.
In the new study, the relationship between abdominal fat and Alzheimer’s disease was found to be stronger in men than in women.
“Even though other studies have linked BMI to brain atrophy or even a higher risk of dementia, no previous studies have linked a specific type of fat to the disease protein Alzheimer’s disease in cognitively normal people,” Dolatshahi said in a press release. “Similar studies have not investigated the differential role of visceral and subcutaneous fat, particularly in terms of Alzheimer’s amyloid pathology, from midlife onwards.”
“Since we know visceral fat is already linked to many health conditions, including heart health, it makes sense that it is also linked to poorer brain health, but it is important that we conduct studies like these to define this link with proofs. Dr. Mary Ellen Coranassistant professor of radiology and radiologic sciences at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and School of Medicine in Tennessee, said Medical news today.
Dolatshahi said inflammatory visceral fat secretions “can lead to
“We don’t know if this is cause or effect. Perhaps an unhealthy lifestyle is linked to increased visceral fat, but also to poorer brain health.” , said Koran, whose expertise includes identifying Alzheimer’s disease radiologically. “This warrants more research in this direction before we can progress clinically.”
For example, she said: “I don’t think we know what a ‘normal’ amount of visceral fat is and that’s something that needs to be explored. »
The researchers said these findings could pave the way for earlier detection of Alzheimer’s disease among an at-risk population.
“By going beyond body mass index (BMI) by better characterizing the anatomical distribution of body fat on MRI, we now better understand why this factor can increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease,” said declared Dr Cyrus Rajilead author of the study, associate professor of radiology and neurology and director of neuromagnetic resonance imaging at MIR.
Coran said the problem with using BMI to assess health risks is that it doesn’t take into account individuals with high muscle mass. Likewise, using waist circumference as a criterion does not distinguish between visceral and subcutaneous fat.
“We know that visceral fat is linked to many health problems, so we may need other ways to assess visceral fat, and imaging lends itself well to non-invasive observation of what happens inside the body,” she said. “Perhaps we can quantify this in the future with an inexpensive, radiation-free modality like ultrasound.”
Reducing belly fat could reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, study suggests.
“One strategy that has been shown to be effective in reducing belly fat is regular aerobic exercise,” such as running, swimming, cycling and dancing, all of which raise your heart rate and increase oxygen flow. throughout the body, said Taylor Wilsonnutrition and exercise expert and founder of Active Recovery Companions.
“When you exercise aerobically, your body burns calories, including those stored in the stomach area,” he explained. Medical news today. “Over time, this calorie expenditure can lead to overall weight loss and a reduction in abdominal fat. Additionally, aerobic exercise has been shown to have a more significant impact on reducing abdominal fat than resistance training alone.
“We know we can target fat through healthy diet and exercise,” Koran added, “but now there are also effective drugs coming to market, like Ozempic. But the long-term effects of these drugs on visceral fat and brain health still need to be studied.
Ozempic and other similar drugs have been
So far, Wegovy is the only one of these drugs to be approved for weight loss.