Excess body fat harms multiple organ systems, including the central nervous system, potentially accelerating brain aging. A new study shows that a 1 percent weight loss delays brain aging by nearly nine months.
Researchers conducted a study involving 102 participants enrolled in the DIRECT-PLUS study who underwent an 18-month lifestyle intervention to promote weight loss. Using magnetic resonance imaging, the researchers assessed the resting-state functional connectivity in the participants' brains and predicted their brain ages. They also evaluated how various health factors, such as body measurements, blood markers, and fat deposits, affect brain aging.
They found that the brain age prediction model accurately predicted the participants' chronological ages. They also found that brain aging slowed by 8.9 months for every 1 percent of body weight loss, an effect linked with improved liver health and reduced liver, visceral, and subcutaneous fat. Their analysis revealed that lower consumption of processed foods, sweets, and beverages delayed brain aging.
These findings suggest that weight loss may benefit the brain’s aging process, potentially slowing its aging trajectory. They also underscore the importance of maintaining a healthy weight throughout the lifespan to support overall brain health. Sulforaphane, a bioactive compound derived from broccoli, benefits brain health and may influence its aging, too. Learn more in this episode featuring Dr. Rhonda Patrick.
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