A growing number of studies suggests that people who are obese during middle age are more likely to develop dementia when they get older.  That’s a scary thought – both for the afflicted person, and the family/caretakers.

One study shows that people who carry a gene that predisposes to obesity also tend to suffer from brain shrinkage in important executive function areas of the brain.   People who had the gene but managed to keep their weight down had less brain shrinkage than those who were obese.

Another study says that “Looking at more than 2,000 dementia-free adults ages 65 and older, researchers revealed that persons who consumed a Mediterranean-type diet regularly were 38 percent less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease over the next four years…”

What’s a Mediterranean diet?

Fish, vegetables, legumes, fruits, and cereals

Unsaturated fatty acids [mostly in the form of olive oil]

Low intake of dairy products, meat, and saturated fatty acids

Regular but moderate intake of alcohol

The tips are clear:  eat right, exercise (aerobic and resistance), and maintain a lower weight to keep your brain working longer!

Dr John Ellis MD

Board-certified anesthesiologist, with expertise in cardiovascular anesthesia and the implications of obesity and sleep apnea in anesthesia. See for professional information. Dr. Ellis has used the strategies in here to: (1) lose 120 lbs over 18 months, (2) stop all antihypertensive medicines, and (3) no longer need CPAP treatment for sleep apnea.

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