How Does Excess Body Fat Threaten Memory?

In the past, I have written several blogs discussing the relationship of body measurements like body mass index (BMI) to cognitive function, as well as relationships between what is called the waist-to-hip ratio with atrophy of the brain. Another important relationship that we have explored extensively in the past is the connection between excess body fat and inflammation.

So, one might wonder if the mechanism whereby obesity relates to declining cognitive function, like worsening memory, may be mediated by inflammation. Basically, the question I am asking has to do with connecting these dots. Continue reading


Body Fat Threatens Ability to Make Good Choices

How does excess body fat affect the brain? Over the past several years we have been describing the various mechanisms whereby body fat increases the production of the chemical mediators of inflammation, and how inflammation is the underpinning mechanism of brain degeneration like we see in Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s. But beyond considering risk of these conditions, it’s worthwhile to gain some understanding as to how excess body fat might, moment to moment, affect how the brain is functioning. Continue reading

Brad J.

I appreciate the role word-of-mouth has played in the story of Brad and those around him. It’s amazing to see how these principles get shared with others and are used to cause health. – Dr. Perlmutter

I am 61 years old. For four years I have intensely trained for Nordic ski racing with steadily improved success. When I started training, I weighed 185-190 lbs., with a BMI of approximately 15-16%. My weight dropped to 178-180 lbs., but plateaued there for three years.

Recently, my daughter, who is a personal trainer, began to persuade me of the value of your work and research, leading me to pick up a copy of Grain Brain.

After reading your book, my wife and I restructured our nutritional approach, following your guidelines. My weight is now 165 lbs. with a BMI of 10-11%. I am now training with greater efficiency, and faster recovery times.

Continue reading

To Lower Your Risk of Cancer, Look to Your Waist

By: Austin Perlmutter, MD, Medical Student, Miller School of Medicine

Years of data now clearly demonstrate connections between obesity and increased risk for cancer. However, a new study published in the well-respected medical journal, The Lancet, is one of the first to examine this risk on a large scale. With over 5 million participants, the actual data is even more potent.

This study focused on development of 22 different types of cancers and the change in frequency of cancer diagnosis with obesity, measured by way of increased body mass index (BMI). Researchers started with over 5 million participants without a cancer diagnosis, then looked at the BMI in those who developed cancer. Ten of the types of cancers showed up significantly more in those with higher BMI’s, with leukemia and uterine cancer, gallbladder, kidney, cervical and thyroid cancers increasing in direct proportion to increases in BMI. Of note, 2 types of cancers (prostate and premenopausal breast) showed up less with increased BMI.  Continue reading