MEN’S HEALTH: Get Fit Now to Prevent Dementia Later

mh-19.jpgThere is a relationship between mid-life obesity and a later decline in mental health. Weight loss and anti-aging supplements may help.

It has been well documented that abdominal fat is a clear risk factor for cardiovascular disease as well as for diabetes, but no one had previously looked into another aspect of men’s health — the association of obesity with risks of later dementia.

A long-term study begun back in 1964, evaluating over 6,500 men, recently revealed that having a thick waistline was major threat to men’s health and functioned as a primary determinant for developing dementia and cognitive decline many years later. The objective of the study was to find what connection there might be between increased abdominal thickness (the more typical male distribution of excess body fat) and the occurrence of cognitive degeneration three decades later. The results showed that the fatter your belly, the more you are on a collision course with Alzheimer’s disease.

This is not good news to the fifty percent of American men who are over-weight, borderline obese, or truly obese. Most people who live beyond 95 years with no signs of dementia have a history of being relatively thin most of their lives. That extra weight in the middle during your 40s, 50s and beyond does not bode well for clear thinking later.

Excess abdominal fat was determined by measuring the sagittal diameter (front to back thickness) of men in their 30s and 40s. Those men who measured the greatest thickness through the middle of the belly and also had a basal metabolic index (a determinant of fast or slow metabolism) of over 25 were classified in the highest risk group. What does this mean? Those who were thicker/fatter in mid-life had three times the risk of developing Alzheimer’s or similar dementias later in life!

What to do? Lose the weight now! It is never too late to give your body a chance to recover and heal from the stress of excess weight. Also, to reduce your risks further, it is wise to take nutritional supplements that can offset some of the risks if they are able enhance how your brain is functioning now and into the future.

There is good evidence that consuming lots of omega-3 fats (fish oils), coenzyme Q10, vitamin C, vitamin E, the antioxidant resveratrol (from grapes or wine), along with soy lecithin and phosphatidyl-serine (both of which are needed for the brain to function properly), can improve many aspects of men’s health, including brain function and cognition.

Losing weight, exercising and taking those beneficial supplements can improve well being now and help maintain men’s health in years to come.

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