Excessive Brain Damage Can Eat

Posted on February 14, 2012


During this overeating is often associated with obesity or overweight. But recent research shows, eating too much can also increase the risk of decline in the ability of the brain, especially in the elderly.

The experts say, people aged 70 years or older who mengasup between 2100 and 6000 calories per day had twice the risk of memory impairment, which could be early signs of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.

“The consumption of excess calories per day is not good for brain health,” said lead researcher Dr. Yonas Geda, who is also professor of neurology and psychiatry at the Mayo Clinic, Scottsdale, Arizona United States.

“It may sound like a cliche, but we need to pay attention to the daily caloric intake. The point is eat in moderation, not in excess, for the sake of your brain health,” he added.

In the study, researchers analyzed data on more than 1,200 respondents aged 70-89 years who lived in Olmsted County, Minnesota. Among these elderly people, 163 of whom had been diagnosed with memory loss known as “mild cognitive impairment.”

Respondents reported to the researcher how much they eat. One-third of the total respondents claimed to eat between 600-1525 calories a day, another third between 1526-2142 calories per day, and a third of the other participants 2143-6000 calories a day.

Results of analysis indicate that among respondents who ate the most, the risk was diagnosed with memory impairment recorded higher at two-fold greater than those who ate less. Meanwhile, the meal portions are participants, researchers found no risk for memory problems. The results of this study remain the same after the researchers accounted for factors such as history of stroke, diabetes, education and other risk factors related memory decline.

“We also calculate BMI (body mass index) and obesity. BMI is a measurement based on height and weight. But there was no significant difference between normal participants and mild cognitive impairment,” the researchers said.

Researchers revealed, although it is not certain why overeating can affect the brain, but researchers speculate that “excessive caloric intake can cause oxidative damage, leading to structural changes in the brain,” says Geda.

Commenting on the research, Dr. Neelum Aggarwal, a professor of neuroscience at Rush University, Chicago, said that these findings allows clinicians to conduct discussions to patients about the relationship between healthy living practices – such as mengasup nutritious foods and limit sugar – with overall brain function.

“Further research is needed to discuss anything that may contribute to cognitive decline and offer strategies for disease prevention through nutrition and calorie restriction,” said Aggarwal.

Another expert on the David Loewenstein, a professor of psychiatry and behavior at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, said the findings add to evidence that the high caloric intake associated with obesity and metabolic syndrome, so it is not surprising that increased caloric intake associated with cognitive impairment.

Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of risk factors associated with heart disease and other health problems. “This study suggests that whatever is good for the heart – such as reducing caloric intake – is also good for the brain,” said Loewenstein.