Memory loss is a thing that worries all of us when we reach a certain age, and research has shown that there is a correlation between obesity and memory loss. However, these effects can be reversed and so weight loss can actually help reduce the effects of memory loss. Sounds unbelievable, doesn’t it? Here we’ll try to give you some more details about the idea.
In the latest study, 150 overweight participants had their brains and memory tested by seeing how many words they could remember from a list. A third of the participants then had weight loss surgery and lost weight as a result – those that lost weight saw their memories improve, and those that didn’t have surgery and didn’t lose weight found that their memory ability either stayed the same or got worse.
However, the participants in the study did lose a considerable amount of weight – on average around 50 pounds per participant. The researchers aren’t yet sure whether losing just a little weight has the same effect on the body but they are currently looking into it – we’ll update you as soon as we know.
No one is completely sure how memory and weight loss are linked, but some theories are that hypertension, diabetes and sleep apnoea (apnea) all damage the brain (thus causing memory to deteriorate), and all these things have a strong correlation with weight loss. There is also a theory that weight loss improves the blood pressure around your body, which could improve the amount of blood flow to your brain, giving it more of the essential nutrients it requires to carry out its tasks. Improved blood pressure will also have a positive effect on other major organs as it allows them all to work more effectively.
Even if you’re not planning to lose a whole 50 pounds, the thought that a bit of weight loss could lead to an improved brain and memory ability should act as a motivator. With a slightly sharper mind you might well get that promotion you’ve always wanted, or find yourself coping better in social situations. Our brain is one of our most important organs – look after it!