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Does Inflammation Impact Brain Function?

Inflammation is a biological response of the immune system that can be triggered by a variety of factors, including viruses/bacteria, injuries, damaged cells and toxic compounds. These factors may induce acute and/or chronic inflammatory responses in the heart, pancreas, liver, kidney, lung, brain, intestinal tract and reproductive system.  The acute (immediate) inflammatory response is often life-saving but chronic (long-term) inflammation may lead to damage of vital organs.

Chronic inflammation has been linked to many disease processes including a decline in cognitive brain function.  A study out of England analyzed over 20,000 people over a 6 year period looking at the BMI, degree of inflammation and cognitive function.  Measurement of inflammation was performed by testing a blood marker called “c-reactive protein”.

The researchers found a correlation between higher levels of inflammation in those people with elevated BMIs.  Additionally, cognitive function was diminished as well in those with higher BMIs and higher degrees of inflammation.

Focusing on Covid issues, those people that have an exaggerated inflammatory response to the virus are those that suffer the severe lung damage seen in the very sick patients.  The data is very clear that obese people have much higher risk of dying when Covid is contracted.  The inflammatory issues are probably playing a large role in this discrepancy between risks of dying from Covid between obese and non-obese people.

Controlling weight will lead to better control of the inflammatory system.  This translates into better brain function, less chance of developing severe Covid illness and lots more other positive health ramifications.

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