Got a lot on your mind? Well, it turns out that regular use of laxatives might be the cause of your brain fog - or in other words, don't poop your way into dementia!
Regular use of over-the-counter laxatives has been linked to an increased risk of dementia, according to a new study. The research, which was published in the journal Neurology, found that individuals who used laxatives most days of the week for at least a month had a 51% higher risk of developing dementia than those who did not use them regularly. Furthermore, those who used two or more types of laxatives had a 90% higher risk of developing dementia.
The study, which involved over 18,000 participants, also found that the risk of dementia increased with the use of osmotic laxatives, but not with other types of laxatives. Osmotic laxatives work by drawing water into the colon, which softens the stool and makes it easier to pass.
Although the study found a clear association between laxative use and dementia, it did not establish causation. Moreover, the researchers did not have data on the dosage of the laxatives used, which could have affected the results.
In commenting on , Heather Snyder, PhD, vice president of medical and scientific relations at the Alzheimer's Association, noted that the results are "interesting" and highlight a potential association between gut and brain health. However, she cautioned that the study has limitations and that more research is needed to confirm the findings.
Snyder also emphasized the importance of talking to a doctor about the risks and benefits of laxative use, as well as exploring alternative methods of relieving constipation, such as increasing dietary fiber and drinking more water.
The study's authors suggest that the findings may have important implications for public health. In particular, they note that constipation is a common problem among older adults, and that laxatives are frequently used to manage it. As such, more research is needed to explore the potential risks and benefits of laxative use, and to identify alternative strategies for managing constipation.
Overall, the study provides an important reminder that many of the body's systems are interconnected, and that what we put into our bodies can have far-reaching effects on our health and wellbeing. While the study's findings are not definitive, they underscore the importance of paying attention to gut health and taking steps to support it, whether through diet, lifestyle changes, or other interventions.
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