How's your memory? How much belly fat do you have? Researchers at Rush University have reported that individuals who have high amounts of belly fat are more than three times as likely to develop memory loss and dementia later in life. t's linked to the liver's hankering for a protein that's also relished by the brain. The study, which appeared in the journal Cell Reports, reported that the liver burns belly fat with the help of a protein known as PPARalpha. Who knew? It turns out that the brain uses this same protein for memory. The liver works extra hard in individuals who have a large amount of belly fat, using up the PPARalpha. And if the liver doesn't have enough PPARalpha around it to use, it turns to other parts of the body to find more--the brain! The hippocampus, the brain's search engine, which plays a role in memory and learning, is essentially starved of PPARalpha. More research is needed to find a way to maintain normal PPARalpha levels in the brain to potentially prevent memory loss. In the meantime, exercise and eat healthy to keep belly fat in check and stay sharp mentally.