Study: Obesity our brain to shrink?

A higher proportion of fat in the body is associated with a smaller brain

How does it affect our brain, when we are suffering from Overweight or obesity? Researchers found out now that people with a higher BMI and greater fat deposits around the middle part of the body, smaller brains, compared with people with a normal weight. The decrease in the brain size increases linearly, the more fat the body is at the centre.

The scientists from the Loughborough University in England found in their current study, that an increased proportion of fat around the middle part of the body is associated with a reduced brain volume. The doctors published the results of their study in the English journal “Neurology”.

What is the gray matter in our brain?

If you suffer from Overweight or obesity, and especially a lot of fat around the mid-body, this could cause a reduction in the volume of gray matter in your brain. The so-called gray matter contains the majority of the 100 billion nerve cells of the brain, while white matter is filled with nerve fibers, which are the regions of the brain connect. Previous studies have already revealed correlations between the atrophy of the gray matter and the risk for dementia, explains study author Mark Hamer, Professor at Loughborough University.

Every fifth participant of the study was obese

The study measured hip 9.652 subjects in the middle age, the Body Mass Index (BMI) and the ratio of the waist. A BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 is considered healthy, while a BMI is considered to be over 30 as obese. In the study, the ratio of the waist was measured at the hip, a high score of more than 0.90 in men and 0.85 for women means that a Person is fat a high the belly portion and / or a larger belly than hips. Based on these criteria, it was found that almost every fifth participant of the study obese.

With the help of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has also been studied the brain volume of volunteers. In the evaluation of the data, factors such as age, physical activity, Smoking and hypertension were taken into account, which can lead to a reduction of the brain volume. The results of the study showed that people with higher values of both BMI as well as in the ratio of waist hip to the lowest volume of gray matter. The decrease in the brain size increases linearly, the larger the proportion of fat in the Mediterranean is part of the body, says Professor Hamer.

What were able to see the physician?

1.291 subjects with a BMI of 30 or higher and a high ratio of waist to hip had with 786 cubic centimeters, the lowest average volume of the gray matter. 514 people with a BMI of 30 or higher, but without Central obesity had an average volume of the gray matter of 793 cubic centimeters. EUR 3,025 participants with healthy values an average gray matter volume of 798 cubic centimeters. There were no significant differences in the brain have been identified, the volume of the white matter in connection with obesity. A high weight was associated with a shrinkage of gray matter in four regions of the brain. It is unclear whether anomalies in the brain structure and Obesity, or whether Obesity leads to these changes in the brain, explains Professor Hamer.

Further research is needed