Is Cognitive Decline Related to Metabolic Health

Gunjan Sooden

August 31, 2022

Excellent metabolic health means having correct levels of triglycerides, blood sugar, cholesterol, blood pressure, etc. Your metabolic health plays a vital role in keeping your body healthy and protecting it against various metabolic diseases. Multiple factors affect your metabolic health, but it is essential to understand that everyone’s metabolic health is different. It depends on multiple parameters like sex, age, lifestyle, genes, etc. The main job of your metabolism is to convert the food you eat into energy. When your metabolism works properly, your body can easily perform the conversion. 

Metabolic diseases are conditions that occur together due to any unusual activity or chemical reaction that cause disturbance with your normal metabolic function. It means that your body produces too much or too little of the substances and chemicals necessary to remain healthy. Different metabolic diseases fall into different groups; some are genetic, some affect your organs, and some affect the parts of your cell that produce energy. Among all these disorders, the most common one is organ dysfunction which occurs when the organs involved in metabolic function become diseased, like the pancreas and liver, leading to type2 or type1 diabetes. 

Concerning metabolic disorders, a study suggests that people with diabetes, especially with type2, are more prone to have severe cognitive decline or problems like dementia, Alzheimer’s, vascular dementia, amnesia, etc. In addition, older people with diabetes or someone who has had diabetes for a long time are more prone to such cognitive declines.

Cognitive impairment or decline causes frequent confusion, a noticeable decrease in mental ability, or memory loss. Not just diabetes but various other metabolic diseases affect different functions of your body like the brain, weight, etc., which also leads to cognitive decline.

The easiest way to keep your metabolic health and blood sugar level in check is HealthifyPro 2.0. It is an advanced and accessible approach for managing different health aspects, from weight to blood sugar, diet, metabolic health, nutrition, and fitness training.

Interestingly, it has five pillars: calorie tracker, CGM, health coaches, smart scale and metabolic panel. It helps assess your internal health and provides real-time advice on eating right and exercising adequately. These pillars can help you manage your metabolism better. With the calorie tracker, you can easily track the carbs, protein, fats and fibre in your food, leading to more mindful eating. Then comes CGM with a BIOS device that monitors your blood sugar or glucose levels with every small bite of food you take that shows how different foods or combinations spike your glucose levels. As a result, it enables you to make more active and conscious lifestyle choices. It eventually leads to proper weight management and the right food intake based on your needs and daily routine. This together collates to nuding you towards making long-term behavioural changes that positively affect your metabolic health. 

The HealthifyMe Note

Your metabolic health controls various vital functions in your body. Poor metabolic health can lead to metabolic dysfunctions like mitochondrial disorders, diabetes, phenylketonuria, Hemochromatosis, etc. Such diseases can affect various organs and parts of the body, including the brain, leading to cognitive decline. Therefore, it is vital to keep your metabolic health in check. 

Different Types of Cognitive Decline

Before reading about the relation of metabolic health with cognitive decline, it is necessary to understand how different cognitive disorders affect your health. According to WHO, more than 55 million people live with mental decline dementia, with 10 million new cases yearly. 

Different types of cognitive decline are:

Mild Cognitive Impairment

Mild cognitive impairment is the early stage of memory loss. A person suffering from mild cognitive decline shows slight memory loss, which, if not treated timely, raises the risk of dementia.


Alzheimer’s is the most common form of cognitive decline. According to different studies, almost 80% of memory loss is caused by Alzheimer’s. The symptoms of Alzheimer’s occur over time and decrease the ability to understand and perform daily tasks. In addition, it interferes with the communication between cells and nerves.


Dementia is another cognitive condition that causes deterioration in mental cells. Symptoms of dementia cause damage to reasoning, memory, communication and mobility skills. Dementia develops over time and is more complex and severely impacts daily functions. 

Frontotemporal Dementia

It is a form of dementia that affects the temporal and frontal lobes of the brain. In other words, it affects the brain’s nerves responsible for behavioural, language, and personality development. 

Vascular Dementia

Vascular dementia occurs due to the lack of blood supply to the brain. It primarily happens due to the build-up of plaque that affects the arteries and increases the risk of stroke. It also affects the ability to make judgments and interferes with the thought process. 

Lewy Body Dementia

Lewy body dementia occurs due to the abnormal build of protein in cells and different brain parts responsible for thinking, movement and memory. This affects problem-solving and reasoning ability, which causes sleep disorders, hallucinations and memory loss.

Metabolic Disorders and Cognitive Decline: The Connection

Your metabolism works even when you’re resting to ensure essential bodily functions like breathing, regulating body temperature, digestion, blood circulation, etc. But sometimes, your metabolic health can go haywire due to various external and internal factors, leading to serious metabolic diseases or dysfunctions. Some metabolic disorders are inherited, and some occur due to the improper functioning of the organs. 

Different metabolic disorders affect how enzymes, energy, heart, insulin, the brain and the digestive system work, leading to cognitive decline in the long run. In addition, a study suggests that metabolic syndrome leading to cardiovascular disease, type2 diabetes etc., are associated with various brain abnormalities and cognitive decline. 

Diabetes and Cognitive Decline

Type2 diabetes affects how the body takes up insulin, which means the body does not properly use glucose from the blood, which causes the pancreas to make more insulin, raising blood sugar levels and resulting in insulin resistance. In type1 diabetes, also known as insulin-dependent diabetes, your pancreas produces little to no insulin resulting in low blood sugar levels. Both these conditions can affect many bodily functions, including the brain, which can cause cognitive decline. 

The brain needs insulin for energy and to function properly. When the brain detects a shortage of insulin, it generates energy from ketones. However, the brain can become prone to insulin resistance in the long run, affecting various memory, mood and appetite-related functions. 

A study suggests that insulin plays two vital roles in the brain: regulating food intake and controlling cognitive functions. When the brain does not respond effectively to insulin, it can cause severe problems in protecting and generating neurons that safeguard the information and communication functions in the brain. Furthermore, when the insulin receptors in the brain are at a higher density, it affects the signalling system. As a result, it causes various energy and glucose metabolic disorders. 

Insulin resistance that reduces capillaries reactivity is more common in people with type2 diabetes and can result in different dementia states causing Alzheimer’s. It mainly affects the learning and memory centre of the brain called the hippocampus. In the longer run, metabolic disorders affecting insulin function can lead to neurodegenerative diseases.

Obesity and Cognitive Decline

Metabolic disorder and insulin resistance are the leading causes of obesity and are closely linked to inactivity and being overweight. Your digestive system breaks down foods into sugars. However, due to metabolic disorders, your body can not efficiently use those sugars to be used as fuel for your body to run. As a result, it accumulates as fats, making the person gain weight. 

Concerning metabolic disorders, a study reveals that obesity changes the function of the hippocampus, the memory and the learning part of the brain. The same research also suggests that obesity-inducing inflammation can disrupt the brain’s processing speed, causing various abnormalities and cognitive decline. In addition, disturbances in carbohydrate metabolism can impair the brain’s learning, reasoning and verbal fluency.

Energy and Cognitive Decline

Metabolic disorders occur when various chemical reactions impair the body’s metabolism. Such conditions affect how the body uses and breaks down molecules for energy for your body to work correctly. Also, it can cause problems with energy-producing organs and how well your body and brain distribute and regulate energy. Metabolic disorders can cause energy deprivation and a decline in the efficiency of energy metabolism, which causes various brain abnormalities. 

A study revealed that a complex neuroendocrine system is responsible for energy regulation in the body.  In case of metabolic disorders, the brain can not effectively use the energy. Less energy metabolism results in brain malfunction and ageing, causing cognitive decline called Alzheimer’s Disease.

Factors Affecting Cognitive Functions and Metabolism

Some common factors affect both cognitive function and metabolism, and it is often co-related resulting in various brain abnormalities:


Your age plays a vital role in how your metabolic health performs; with age, your metabolic health and energy metabolism do not respond well. In addition, the brain also does not function properly due to decreased basal metabolic rate, resulting in various cognitive declines.

Oxidative Stress

Stress is another common factor that affects both metabolism and cognitive decline. For example, oxidative stress impairs various bodily functions. It impairs the wound healing process, resulting in chronic diseases and overproduction of free radicals involving the brain’s function and causing inflammation.


A balanced diet and proper nutrition are vital in managing healthy body functions, including the brain. Conversely, not eating proper meals and oily or processed foods can impair body functions. It can cause different metabolic diseases and energy deprivation resulting in brain abnormalities.

How to Take Care of your Cognitive Health?

So far, there is no sure-shot solution to Alzheimer’s or other cognitive declines. Still, researchers are working on finding solutions to curb brain malfunctions. However, there are some standard solutions or lifestyle changes that you can adopt to help strengthen your metabolic and brain activities health


Keeping your body active and doing daily exercise manages various metabolic diseases. You do not have to do heavy workouts or weight training daily; you can do Zumba, cardio or other forms of activities as well. Exercising daily keeps your physical health in check, stimulates your brain cells, reduces inflammation, and helps decrease brain disease risk. 

Everyone, especially adults, should do some form of exercise as it helps increase memory, learning, reaction and attention span. Exercise also helps develop the hippocampus, improving the understanding and memory formation that strengthens the brain and cell connection.

Balanced Diet

For the brain to function correctly, your body needs the right amount of all the necessary vitamins, minerals, and fibres that are vital for a healthy metabolism. 

You should avoid processed, oily or deep-fried foods as they can cause harm to your metabolism. Instead, incorporating nuts, salads, and fruits in your daily meals is the best way to keep your overall health on track. Foods with a low glycemic index appear to enhance cognition, memory, and functional capacity, but those high in simple sugars are linked to attention and concentration problems. Furthermore, Potassium is a brain-boosting vitamin that aids in improving verbal and cognitive memory. Another anti-ageing vitamin that may help fend off Alzheimer’s is vitamin K. Eat a lot of kale, spinach, and arugula to increase your intake of vitamin K. 

There are various types of diets which you can follow to increase the energy levels in your body. However, while following or incorporating any diet into your routine, taking care of the body mass ratio is important. Therefore, you should follow a diet that helps you achieve the right kind of weight that can help combat Alzheimer’s. However, before following any kind of meal plan, it is vital to consult your nutritionist as what works for others might not work for you. 


Following a proper sleeping pattern is necessary for your overall health. Sleep deprivation is the most common cause of various metabolic dysfunction. Even when you eat well-balanced meals and exercise daily, it will all go to waste if you do not give your body proper rest. Getting 7-8 hours of sleep is necessary for your body and brain to perform correctly. 

For your brain to understand and communicate things with other organs, your body should be well-rested. Adapting the right sleep habits keeps you active and energised throughout the day. While you sleep, your body releases hormones that repair cells and control energy use in the body, which is vital for healthy brain function.

Stress Management Activities

Stress not only increases inflammation in the body but also activates various radicals that harm your metabolic health and brain. Therefore, it is necessary to manage your stress levels in order to keep your body fit and to be able to fight different diseases. You can perform various stress management activities like yoga, meditation, etc., that help reduces chronic stress and are beneficial for brain functioning. 

The HealthifyMe Note

Besides taking different lifestyle measures, proper medication is vital if you suffer from metabolic disorders. Also, various metabolic dysfunction can impair the ability of your brain to work correctly, which, if not addressed timely, can turn into severe cognitive diseases. Small adjustments can build up over time to help you ward off cognitive decline. These include controlling your blood pressure, eating nutritious foods, being physically and mentally active, avoiding stress and maintaining social connections. 


Different factors affect your metabolic health like age, sex, lifestyle, etc. Also, the body’s metabolic health gets affected by various internal and external factors leading to different metabolic disorders. Metabolic disorders are common in people with unhealthy lifestyles and dietary choices that affect the body and take a toll on how the brain performs various functions. The common metabolic disorders impact the insulin, heart and energy functions in your body which are directly related to your brain’s memory, learning, and reasoning abilities. Therefore, taking care of your metabolic health is vital to adapting to different lifestyle changes.

About the Author

Gunjan Sooden graduated from Delhi University with a degree in nutrition and dietetics. She is passionate about helping people understand the value of healthy eating, cooking, and food & nutrition in their fitness journey. Eating healthy, she believes, should not be boring. With experience as an intern in the food sector, she is best at exploring and producing recipes using local, day-to-day ingredients. This generation differs from the previous one. We need to figure out quick ways to make our regular meals healthier and more delicious. Because this is our current way of life, we must balance being busy while still being able to eat healthily, right?

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