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Your Fat Is Why You're Not As Bright As You Could Be

RATE THIS! +27
Posted in Science on 20th Mar, 2014 04:13 AM by AlexMuller

In a study conducted by researchers, the blood of obese mice had especially high levels of a chemical called interleukin 1, a substance born from fat cells that can cause inflammation. When researchers later examined the obese mice brains, they found that interleukin 1 had passed the blood-brain barrier, something that should not be possible.

 

The substance had seeped into the hippocampus, an area responsible for memory and learning. The mouse brains also had high levels of inflammation and low levels of a biochemical important to synapse function (synapses ensure messages travel efficiently between neurons).

 
These findings led to predictable results in how the mouse brains worked: Other obese mice did poorly on mouse-sized cognitive tests, presumably because the interleukin 1 was clogging things up.
 
But the study didn't end there. The researchers wanted to make sure that it was the extra fat cells--and not something else, causing the disturbing brain changes in the mice.
 
Upon removing fat from the obese mice in a mini-liposuction procedure, the critters scored highly on the same thinking and memory tests they struggled with previously, and the interleukin 1 virtually disappeared from their bloodstreams.
 
When the researchers put fat pads inside thin mice, those previously svelte rodents started doing worse than they had previously on cognitive tests.

Tags: obesitybrainfathealthintelligence

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Comments

Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-03-20
+3
These are interesting observations and link excess fat to effects on cognitive functions- it would be important to find out how clinical data compare with these animal experiments
2 Replies
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-03-20
+1
Indeed, this is just a mouse study. None of these findings necessarily apply to humans. Reply
Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-03-20
+3
It is important to note that exercise can make a big difference, not just surgery. Mice on the treadmill experiment weighed the same as sedentary mice after three months, they gained lean muscle and lost fat from their midsections. And, most importantly, they started performing better than the non-treadmill runners on cognitive tests! Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-03-20
+2
We just recently had a report that the number of overweight and obese adults in the developing world has almost quadrupled since 1980. One in three people worldwide is now overweight. They urged governments to do more to influence diets and this is becoming a point of debate - is this up to individuals or governments?
4 Replies
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-03-20
+0
Perhaps Governments should not use taxation as proposed recently. I know that this is a complex problem demanding a multi-faceted response. However, taxation should not be the knee-jerk answer. Education must play its part. Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-03-20
+0
Yes, obesity is responsible for a good proportion of healthcare costs and deaths in US and EU and now also In the developing South-East Asia Region - we are becoming increasingly aware of this but need to act better Reply
Reply


 

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