ANOTHER REASON TO GET RID OF BELLY FAT
By Christopher Wanjek, Columnist
Published: 10/16/2013 08:31 AM EDT on LiveScience
Your liver could be "eating" your brain, new research suggests.
People with extra abdominal fat are three times more likely than lean individuals to develop memory loss and dementia later in life, and now scientists say they may know why.
It seems that the liver and the hippocampus (the memory center in the brain), share a craving for a certain protein called PPARalpha. The liver uses PPARalpha to burn belly fat; the hippocampus uses PPARalpha to process memory.
In people with a large amount of belly fat, the liver needs to work overtime to metabolize the fat, and uses up all the PPARalpha — first depleting local stores and then raiding the rest of the body, including the brain, according to the new study. [10 Things You Didn't Know About the Brain]
The process essentially starves the hippocampus of PPARalpha, thus hindering memory and learning, researchers at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago wrote in the study, published in the current edition of the journal Cell Reports.
Other news reports were incorrect in stating that the researchers established that obese individuals were 3.6 times more likely than lean individuals to develop dementia. That finding dates back to a 2008 study by researchers at the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research in Oakland, Calif.
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