Where the apple reddens,

When we talk apples and pears we tend to think waist lines not perhaps immediately Robert Browning in his renown poem, A Women's Last Word. And all of us know for cardiovascular risk we've said that being a pear is better than being an apple. Now pears have a tiny bit of revenge, in the way of the "better of the poor choices". The more an older woman weighs, the worse her memory, according to new research from Northwestern Medicine. "The effect is more pronounced in women who carry excess weight around their hips, known as pear shapes, than women who carry it around their waists, called apple shapes."

And the researchers have gone on to establish a biologic plausibility for their epidemiological conclusions: CYTOKINES, In general  Cytokines are hormone-like proteins that essentially regulate immune response by controlling the signaling between immune cells. But not only do our immune cells (T and B cells) make cytokines, they can be made in other tissues, like our fat and even parts of our muscle. And then there are other substances that affect the whole immune signal system. Prostaglandins, Transforming growth factor-beta, INF-alpha, as well as others. And cytokines now are known to regulate scores of physiological activities. Such as the fact that a group of cytokines that work as chemical signal, almost like a magnet to attract cells into tissues, or to get tissues to change binding to attract proteins and cells! These fancy cytokines are called chemokines. And Then we've discovered that cytokines interact with the hormones of obesity to regulate just how obese we get!

When discussing these cytokines the Northwestern researchers go on to say that " hormones released by the predominant kind of fat in the body that can cause inflammation, likely affect cognition, Kerwin said. Scientists already know different kinds of fat release different cytokines and have different effects on insulin resistance, lipids and blood pressure." and then "We need to find out if one kind of fat is more detrimental than the other, and how it affects brain function," she said. "The fat may contribute to the formation of plaques associated with Alzheimer's disease or a restricted blood flow to the brain."

So lots to think about, and new reasons to run over to your exercise bike and do a couple more laps. As your apple or your pear shape is not helpful to your heart, your mind or your stamina, so all will need work. And when life seems listless or dull, remember we can always turn to poetry!

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