1187. Mind Fog: The Hidden Cost of Obesity on Brain Health


Dr. Martin continues talking about obesity in today’s episode and focuses on its impact on brain health. A fascinating study has come out showing how obese people have a lot more to worry about than getting diabetes.


Announcer:  You're listening to The Doctor Is In Podcast, brought to you by MartinClinic.com. During the episode, the doctors share a lot of information. As awesome as the info may be, it is not intended to diagnose, cure, treat, or prevent any disease. It's strictly for informational purposes.

Dr. Martin:  Well, good morning everyone, and once again, welcome to another live this morning and we're happy to have you on with us. Okay, let's get going. I want to talk to you this morning. Going to use the drawing board again. So for you dear folks who listen later on a podcast, I've been using the board this week just because I'm having fun. Whenever I used to do seminars when I was on the road giving seminars. Hundreds and hundreds over the years, I'd like to use a board, old fashioned. I didn't like PowerPoint or anything like that. I wasn't no good at that. I just as soon make a few points and write them out and put it on a board.

So I got my board out this morning. I want to talk to you about brain and what happens, and this study came out. It was actually kind of fascinating. I figured I'm going to break it down because they didn't give detail. They just said that people who are obese. Now, it's a big problem in our society today. We talked about that yesterday. Obesity since the 1980s, like it's up. I can't remember the percentage. 400, 500% since the 1980s. 40% of the population is obese, 80% are overweight. Well, what you classify as obese, children, 20, 30% of children obese. It was unheard of before the 1980s. Unheard of. Obesity was rare. Not that it didn't exist, but it was rare. And obesity, you saw an obese person and it was more than rare. And now today, it's an epidemic. I hate throwing that word around, but it's true. It's like an epidemic today because it's everywhere.

Now, what I want to do in this session is talk to you about the side effect of obesity in the brain, okay? Here's just some facts for someone that's obese, their risk of getting diabetes is. Now, look, diabetics don't have to be obese. Type two I'm talking about. Type one are generally skinny people. Doesn't make 'em healthy, of course, and you can be skinny as a rake and very unhealthy. Okay, so let's just put that on the shelf that people that are thin are healthy because what they don't see is visceral fat, fat around the organs. They can be skinny on the outside, but they got fat around the organs. But just when it comes back to obesity, we talk about numbers. It's crazy. Numbers of obesity and diabetes, obesity and cancer. Well established. Obesity and heart disease, of course, well established and obesity and Alzheimer's, the brain, but it's more than that.

This study talked about obesity and the effects it had on the brain. It didn't give you the, what can I say, didn't give you the physiology. This morning, I want to give you the physiology, what happens in the brain and what we can do about it, what we can do about it, okay? Now, when you got extra fat in your body, okay, visceral fat around your organs, okay? This fat is dangerous around the organs because it's like an organ to itself has really its own blood supply. When this happens inside the body, you don't even realize it. People don't realize it. The body sees this as a foreign object, okay? The body sees it as a foreign object, and I'm just showing one pound of fat here, okay? The body sees this as a separate organ and it's a foreign object. So what happens? The immune system kicks in and it starts a process. Okay?

So obesity and the brain, first thing that happens is the immune system gets turned on. It creates inflammation. Now, listen again, inflammation, what do we say at the Martin Clinic all the time? Inflammation is not Houdini. It doesn't just show up. Now when you send me your blood work, if at all possible, get me your C R P number. C-reactive protein. And the reason I asked for that is because it can tell you something about a silent inflammation. Look, you kicked me in the knee, my body's ambulance system gets turned on. I rub my knee, more blood inflammatory markers come in there bringing extra blood supply, enzymes, proteins, healing things. Your body's unbelievable. Fearfully and wonderfully made. Okay? I know I say that a lot, but I mean it, okay? I mean it.

Now you have inflammation that starts when the body senses that fat. So think of obesity, but even think of a skinny person. What happens when they have visceral fat? They start an inflammation process, okay? That's the first step. And you'll read a lot about inflammation saying it's the root of all diseases. That I disagree with. It's there, but it's not the root cause. Like I said, it's not Houdini. It doesn't just show up. There's something going on and the best way to measure it in the body is with C R P C-reactive protein. Anything above zero is not normal with C R P. In medicine, they'll say, oh, one to three, as long as it's not above three, your C R P, it's normal. That's not true. Because when you understand what inflammation does, if inflammation doesn't get turned off, okay, your ambulance system, the body's immune system, good thing, wonderful, you got an infection, you have an injury, beautiful.

But if it's there because of a foreign object, right? One pound of fat, see that? If that's a foreign object, and that's what your body sees, it sees us as an invader, you get inflammation, and with inflammation becomes in the brain a brainstorm. You get cytokines. Big word, who cares? But they are a reaction. Cytokines. When people got covid, they got a storm, your body's ambulance system is going to work. Problem is if it doesn't get turned off. So when you have a brainstorm, okay, I'm showing you here a brainstorm, it decreases the neurons in your brain. Your brain cells get damaged because it's not meant to be. It's not meant to be long-term. It's short-term. First response physiologically is inflammation. Okay? It's silent. You don't even know it's there. And most doctors, I just got to be honest with you, I love doctors. I do. But most doctors never check C R P. You know what they'll check? C R P, oh, rheumatoid arthritis. Let's check C R P, okay? But you should be checking C R P doctors routinely. It's a preventative test. It is telling you something. It's the body saying hello. It's so important that test, and we almost got to wrestle with physicians to do it because it's not part of the routine stuff that they do. It should be, it should be. But anyway.

So what happens in the brain when you got fat in the rest of your body, especially visceral fat, an organ unto itself and the body sees it as a foreign object, it starts an inflammatory process. Got it? You got that? The second thing is, can you see this now? Hormonal. Hormonal, got that? Hormonal, okay? There's a lot of things that happen with this. When you got fat inside your body, it alters your hormones. They become horror-mones in a way because in the brain, think about this for a minute. It alters insulin, lectin. What is lectin? You guys know this. What is lectin? Lectin tells you. Lectin tells you that you're full. You don't need to eat. What is ghrelin? Ghrelin tells you, you better eat. This gets all messed up guys. Your hormones get messed up, the body develops, and especially up in the brain, resistance to insulin. That's all I ever talk about. Like insulin resistance, insulin resistance, insulin resistance. I know, but I got your attention. I'm trying to get more people's attention because it's food.

Insulin is a food hormone, and we're eating the wrong things. We're carboholics, the world out there that we see, my name is Tony and I'm a carboholic. Anybody that's obese, they got hormonal trouble. You got visceral fat, you got horror-mones in there. Insulin is resisted in the brain. Ghrelin and lectin are upside down, and that really creates a disaster in the brain, okay? Because when hunger not feeling satisfied, satiety, okay? You get mood disorders and depression. Do you know that obese people are 60, 70, 80% according to these studies, more likely to be depressed, and then they're put on medications, band-aids, SSRIs like candy. Problem is, it's physiological. It gets disrupted, but that's not the bottom line. It's not the bottom line. It's a bandaid. Medications are band-aids when it comes to depression and mood disorders. They're band-aids. It doesn't fix the problem.

Okay, so you get hormonal disruption, okay? And there three hormones. Remember insulin. When you become insulin resistance, you become lectin resistance. Now your body's looking for fuel all the time. And you can see that in a person that's obese, they're looking for fuel all the time. In the brain, their lectin and their ghrelin is disrupted. It's upside down type of thing. So you can understand they're hungry. You know how we used to say the old saying, you go for Chinese food, you eat like a pig, and then two hours later you want to eat again. I didn't just make that up. Isn't that true? Okay, this is hormonal. So you've got inflammation, you got hormonal disruption, and if you were to talk to Dr. Mckewn, she would agree with this a million percent. The why, the why of depression. The why. Why is it happening, okay? You've got a foreign object in your body. It's called fat, okay? It's called fat. It's a foreign object. Your body responds to it, your brain responds to it. Okay?

Now, let's keep going. Now I'm going to go down a little bit. Can you see this? Just make sure you can see the third one. Altered neurotransmitters. Now, altered neurotransmitters. I'm not getting into the weeds. I'm going to make this as plain as I can. Altered neurotransmitters. So one, you've got inflammation. The body sees a foreign object, the body responds, the immune system responds. It don't get turned off. Two, you have a hormonal disruption, no fun under the sun. Number three, you have altered neurotransmitters. What happens? When this fat is in the body, it affects your neurotransmitters. And let me tell you what I'm talking about. Three of them, dopamine, okay? When your dopamine goes down, because of what we're talking about, fat. When dopamine goes down, what happens? You're not motivated. Things are not as pleasurable for you. That's what dopamine does. Okay? Motivation. Let me give you an example.

You see someone that's obese and it's almost like they can't help it. And I was always the most sympathetic human being on the planet because I understood hormones. It's not eat less and move more. You know how many people that are big have been told that eat less, move more, eat less, move more. Sounds great. Yeah, if you eat less and move more, you might lose some weight, but you didn't fix the hormones, you didn't fix that. You need to fix the issue. So when you see altered neurotransmitters, what do I mean by that? Well, you have decrease in dopamine. You don't make as much dopamine. You don't make as much dopamine, motivation goes down your pleasure even out of things. That's why they're depressed. They get depressed. They don't have the same amount of pleasure sexually even that's been proven a lot of times.

Second, serotonin goes down. What does serotonin do? Mood. Imbalances. Your serotonin, you're up and down, when it's not in balance. You're not stable in a lot of ways. So dopamine goes down, serotonin goes down. These are your feel-good hormones. This has been proven, guys. And thirdly, glutamate, which is learning and memory. Listen guys, listen, Linda and Larry, extra visceral fat in your body creates a cascade of problems. And when you look at your memory center, your hippocampus, it's affected big time by visceral fat. Glutamate, the librarian up there is having trouble finding your files of your memory. You're searching and searching and searching. You can't remember, can't remember names, can't remember, and you're learning. You can't retain anything or it's decreased. Guys, these things are well established, but nobody talks about them. Just give you pills, man. Give you pills. Hope it goes away. Not going to go away. You got to fix the problem. Okay?

So you have decreased dopamine, decreased serotonin, and you got decreased glutamine, and you got problems. Houston, we got trouble. Wow. Obesity in the brain, visceral fat in the brain. What happens? Not fun. Ain't no fun. And then fourthly, the fourth one is structural. You know when I call you fathead, okay? You know I love you when I call you fathead, right? You got the memo about that. I love you when I call you fat head because I'm complimenting you. So fat in the body means shrink in brain. Visceral fat shrinks your brain. Your brain shrinks. If you ever see, and I think you could probably Google this, I never have, but I've seen it. Alzheimer's brain, it's like a prune. It shrunk. All the water came out of it. You're not a fat head when you have Alzheimer's or dementia, your brain shrinks. It doesn't grow. It shrinks.

So structurally, when you have visceral fat, an organ to itself, your brain shrinks. You want your brain to grow. Okay? So structurally, gray matter, cognitive memory learning. By the way, one thing that inflammation does, I didn't put it up there. Your autophagy goes down. Now you know what I mean by that? Your self-cleaning oven, it doesn't work as well. Now, if you get in a good sleep, that's a good start. Okay, so what did I say we talk about too? Okay, okay. What do I do, doc? What do I do? Well, look, the number one thing you can do if you have visceral fat is to change fuel. Carbs, turn to sugar. Sugar turns to fat, carbs turns to sugar, sugar turns to fat. Got it? What creates this in the body? Not eating steak, not eating cheese, not eating dairy. Nope. Just the opposite. That's why we've been lied to all these years.

I talked about that yesterday. Liars, liars, pants on fires is the world out there that tells you when you eat fat, especially saturated fat that's found in butter and eggs and meat and cheese. Oh, that's saturated. Yeah, and that will make you fat. Nope, nope. Sugar makes you fat. So what do you do? I used to plead with my patients. Plead with them. Trust me. Give me 30 days. Somebody sent me an email yesterday came from looking at blood work or whatever. And then, "Doc, what do I do?" Eggs, meat and cheese. "Doc, what do I do?" Eggs, meat and cheese. Eggs, meat and cheese. We'll get rid of this. It will get rid of those fat around your organs. What? Yes. Change fuel. Carbs turn to sugars rapidly. Sugars turn to fat. Empty your liver. What happens in the liver, don't stay in the liver. Your liver is not Las Vegas. Empty it. Eggs, meat, and cheese.

Because when your liver is full, when the liver is full, it sends triglycerides into the bloodstream. Not good for your brain and not good for your heart change. Fuel lower. It's the one thing you can do immediately. It's not calories. I should have brought one up an egg this morning. 500 calories. It doesn't have that many, but yeah, I think it's close. Okay, it's got fat, it's got protein, but it's got no carbs. I'll take a chocolate bar. 500 calories. Okay, what is a chocolate bar? Carbs and fat. That's rat chow. You want to fatten up a rat for laboratory, you give them a donut or a chocolate bar. You don't give them an egg because it may be 500 calories each, but your body breaks them down much differently. You don't need insulin for an egg. Your pancreas is, it's on the sidelines when you eat eggs, meat and cheese, it literally is, it's on the sidelines whistling. I wish I had something to do, you know what I mean?

And if you look at hormones in the brain, what hormone in the brain gets caught up. Yeah, insulin gets all messed up. What do you do? Change fuels. Now, I like not eating at night. Really get into a habit of not eating at night. But again, for obese people, they're messed up. Their hormones are messed up, their neurotransmitters are messed up, but there's help makes a big difference. You can fix lectin and ghrelin. Imagine when you fix insulin, you can fix lectin and ghrelin. It makes all the difference in that brain. You need rocket fuel. Rocket fuel makes all the difference. I've seen it tens of thousands of times. Rocket fuel. "You mean doc, I can eat?" Yeah, absolutely, you can eat. I don't want you starving. No, you won't starve. You just need to change fuels. Okay?

And the other thing that I do with this, okay, because it really has a lot to do with this in here, those four things that are altered, I put them on high DHA, fat in the brain, good fat. Your brain is made up of DHA fat, more than 60% of it. It's a very specific type of fat. That's why I love high DHA, eat your steak, sun steak and steel. And I get them on vitamin D because I can do a whole show on this. Maybe I will. When you have visceral fat, you're low in vitamin D. Your vitamin D is in that fat for most people. Obese people are seriously low in vitamin D, seriously low. They don't know it. Doctors said, well, your bones are good. Ooh, that drives me insane. Gives me a headache. Your bones are good. As if vitamin D was only for your bones. Why are people that have visceral fat have such low levels of vitamin D? My word and I give them B12. That's a brain vitamin. Vitamin D is a brain vitamin, B12 is a brain vitamin. DHA is a brain vitamin. They're usually low in magnesium too, but I really get after it.

But the biggest thing, the foundation of fixing everything is changing fuel. You go from eating carbohydrates, sugars, and switching fuel. Not easy to do. I didn't say that was easy and you got to negate all the nonsense out there. "Oh, Dr. Martin, you're going to have a heart attack. My doctor said that their cholesterol's going to go through the roof." I know what they say, but they're wrong. How can I prove the wrong? Well, look at society today. Look at how big we are. Brought to you by the cereal companies. Brought to you by big food. I promised myself today, I wouldn't get excited. It didn't work. Okay. It didn't work. Okay, guys, you know what tomorrow is? Question and answer Friday. Have you sent in your questions yet? You haven't. Make sure you get 'em in. Okay, I got to breathe. Okay, we love you guys. You guys are the greatest audience in the history of podcast, and I mean it. Love you.

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