We are biological systems, incredibly complicated and research is continually turning up intricate relationships. Recently I posted up a story on gut flora and mood. Today the BBC carried a story on obesity and its relationship with cognitive decline (Obesity 'bad for brain' by hastening cognitive decline):
- Being overweight is not just bad for waistlines but for brains too, say researchers who have linked obesity to declining mental performance.
Experts are not sure why this might be, but say metabolic changes such as high blood sugar and raised cholesterol are likely to be involved.
Obesity has already been tipped as a risk factor for dementia. The work, published in Neurology, tracked the health of more than 6,000 British people over a decade.
The participants, who were aged between 35 and 55, took tests on memory and other cognitive skills three times over a 10-year period.
Talking of living forever, who'd have thought that popcorn flavouring posed a risk to workers?
- A butter flavouring used in the production of microwave popcorn could be a respiratory hazard to workers and could even alter gene expression in the brain. This is the conclusion of researchers from the US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and West Virginia University, investigating the effects of 2,3-pentanedione on laboratory rats. Ironically, 2,3-pentanedione was introduced to replace the flavouring diacetyl, which was found to have similar health effects over 10 years ago.
'Popcorn workers lung' (Bronchiolitis obliterans), is news to me. I don't eat it, but what really surprise me was this line from one of the researchers:
- ‘Our study also supports established recommendations that flavourings should be substituted only when there is evidence that the substitute is less toxic than the agent it replaces.’