Abdominal Fat’s Role in Alzheimer’s Onset

Excessive abdominal fat could be a contributing factor to the development of Alzheimer’s disease, surpassing concerns related to overall weight. A study by the University of Washington, as reported by CNN, highlights the potential link between abdominal or visceral fat and brain dysfunction, particularly noticeable in men, as emphasized by neurologist and Alzheimer’s researcher Richard Isaacson from Florida.

Researchers, focusing on individuals aged 40 to 60, observed a correlation between higher abdominal fat and increased amyloid presence in the brain, a significant factor in the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. Cyrus Raji, a radiologist and professor at the University of Washington, noted a gender disparity, suggesting this phenomenon is more prevalent in men, possibly due to higher visceral fat levels. The study also established a link between abdominal fat and the degeneration of gray matter, a key indicator of Alzheimer’s disease, along with inflammation in the white matter pathways. For their pilot study in 2021, researchers concentrated on thirty-two participants, expanding to fifty-two individuals with additional observations on twenty patients, confirming the impact of visceral fat on Alzheimer’s disease development.

To address visceral fat, not visibly apparent like subcutaneous fat, individuals are encouraged to undergo MRIs or scans for accurate detection. Regular waist measurements using a flexible tape measure are also recommended, with the clinic indicating health risks for women with a waist measurement of 89 centimeters or more and for men with a measurement of 102 centimeters or more. Effective solutions include regular exercise, a balanced diet, and sufficient sleep. Cyrus Raji affirms that shedding visceral fat is more achievable through exercise and dietary adjustments, as it is more readily metabolized and burned than subcutaneous fat. Experts also advise eliminating or reducing ultra-processed foods, decreasing portion sizes, replacing sugary drinks with water, and moderating the consumption of fatty meat and dairy products, such as cheese and butter. Monitoring alcohol intake is crucial, as all types of alcoholic beverages, according to the Mayo Clinic, contribute to expanding waistlines.

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