Patient Blog

Obesity is linked to … impaired brain?

In August 2020, a world-first study was published in the journal Brain Sciences. The research team made a stunning conclusion. Ready?

“This is the first study to investigate the association between obesity and [brain] plasticity. Preliminary analysis showed that the capacity for synaptic plasticity is reduced in people who are obese when compared to those of healthy weight.”

Did you catch that? Obesity is associated with impaired brain function.


This does not necessarily mean that your memory decreases as your body mass index (BMI) increases. Rather, it means that obesity actually changes the very structure and cognitive function of your brain.

Think about that for a moment: Obesity alters the structure of your brain … in a bad way. Your brain’s plasticity.

Brain plasticity is your brain’s ability to re-wire itself. Without this ability, your brain … any brain … would be unable to develop from infancy into adulthood or recover from brain injury.

Dr. Brenton Hordacre, a member of the research team, states that their findings provide the first physiological evidence of a link between obesity and reduced brain plasticity. He stated:

“Given the importance of plasticity for human behavior, our results add further emphasis to the potentially detrimental health effects of obesity…. These new findings suggest that losing weight is particularly important for healthy brain aging or for recovery in people who suffer strokes or brain injuries, where learning is fundamental for recovery."

This makes sense, right? Improve your health, improve your brain … and your brain’s ability to heal itself as you age.

Read the study here: CLICK HERE

Good news! Improve your lifestyle and reduce your cognitive decline. In fact, this is the conclusion of a study published in September 2020 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. It involved 119 people over 65 years of age who were experiencing cognitive decline. The study results suggested that lifestyle changes help to improve cognition in older adults experiencing the cognitive decline that precedes dementia.

The lifestyle changes were straight-forward:

(1) diet improvement (clean proteins, good fats, and vegetables)
(2) exercise
(3) brain training

After 6 months, the research group that participated in these lifestyle modifications had higher cognition scores than those who did not.

The lead author of this study, Mitchell McMaster, a Ph.D. student at The Australian National University, stated:

“We've known for some time that lifestyle changes such as these can reduce dementia risk in the general population. What this study adds is that with the right intervention, people experiencing cognitive decline may retain sufficient neuroplasticity for their brain to 'bounce back' from decline.”

This is excellent news: We can “bounce back” from neuroplasticity decline!

The solution: eat quality whole foods, move your body, and work your brain. I have included the link to the study below. Share it with someone you love. I know, it is difficult to watch those we love experience “cognitive decline”. Well, you can help them continue to live well and to be their best!

Read the study here: CLICK HERE

Stay strong. Be courageous. Serve others. Do good. Let’s be the influence for good that is so needed now.


Thanks to contributor Stan Graham, Elements Meals