Obesity hastens cognitive decline claims study…

I had other things to write about today – for instance I’m on my second intermittent fast and also I visited the doctor yesterday to have my blood taken for analysis, and I was also planning a brief introduction to paleo, but then I read this on BBC:

Obesity ‘bad for brain’ by hastening cognitive decline

Now on first glance this might seems like a reasonable conclusion: 6000 people tracked over 10 years and the fat ones lost their brains quicker. Simple, right?

I would posit that it’s not a cause and effect, but rather a single root cause. I would be very interested to know the dietary specifics of these individuals, specifically the quantities of omega-3′s they were getting, what about their omega-6′s, were they too high? And how about carbohydrate intake, especially wheat?

Basically, high glycemic index foods, especially grains and HFCS (high fructose corn syrup), lead to insulin de-sensitivity, which is a pre-cursor to diabetes and obesity. Furthermore, modern wheat is really quite toxic to humans leads to obesity and can pass into the blood, through the blood/brain membrane and cause havoc there too.

On top of this, a diet low in omega-3 and high in omega-6 (so too much trans-fats, processed food, processed vegetables oils etc.), leads to deficiencies in EPA and especially DHA - Docosahexaenoic acid – is a major component of brain composition and function, a lack of it can lead not only to cognitive decline and dementia, but to eyesight problems and yes, you guess it, insulin de-sensitivity. ALA - alpha-Linolenic acid – which is found seed oils like rapeseed and flax can be converted in the body to EPA and DHA, but the process is highly inefficient, you need to get some in your diet, mostly through fish or fish oils, more on that another day though.

So I don’t think the scientific establishment has cracked the puzzle yet, but I think they’ve found another piece of the jigsaw and they’re heading in the right direction. Unfortunately for many people it will be too late.

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