New Study by researchers at University of Umea, Sweden weight loss can not only make Post Menopausal women healthier, it may also improve their memory.
The study found that memory improves in older, overweight women after they lose weight by dieting, and their brain activity actually changes in the regions of the brain that are important for memory tasks. Overall, the study found that the obesity-associated impairments in memory function are reversible, adding incentive for weight loss.
How the Study was conducted:
The researchers randomly assigned 20 overweight, postmenopausal women (average age, 61) to one of two healthy weight loss diets (Paleolithic Diet and Nordic Nutrition) for six months. With a special type of brain imaging called functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), the researchers see brain activity while the subjects performed a memory test.
Before and after the experiment, the researchers measured the participants’ body mass index (BMI), body fat composition and episodic memory by instructing them to memorise unknown pairs of faces and names (this process of creating new memory is “encoding”).
The researchers found that after six months the participants not only showed an average BMI decline from 32.1 before the diet to 29.2 (below the cutoff for obesity), their average weight dropped from 85 to 77.1 kilogrammes; but their memory performance also improved after weight loss. After the weight loss, brain activity reportedly increased during memory encoding in the brain regions that are important for identification and matching of faces. Suggesting to the researchers that after weight loss the brain becomes more active while storing new memories and therefore needs fewer brain resources to recollect stored information.
The results were presented at The Endocrine Society`s meeting in San Francisco.
Paleolithic diet, also called the Caveman diet — 30 percent protein, 30 per cent carbohydrates and 40 per cent unsaturated fats.
Nordic Nutrition Recommendations of a diet — 15 percent protein, 55 per cent carbs and 30 per cent fats.