Navigation Links
Brain cells determine obesity -- not lack of willpower: Study
Date:9/8/2010

An international study has discovered the reason why some people who eat a high-fat diet remain slim, yet others pile on the weight.

The study, led in Australia by the Monash Obesity and Diabetes Institute (MODI) at Monash University, found a high-fat diet causes brain cells to become insulated from the body preventing vital signals, which tell the body to stop eating and to burn energy, from reaching the brain efficiently.

MODI director and Australian Life Scientist of the Year Professor Michael Cowley said there were two clear outcomes from the findings.

'We discovered that a high-fat diet caused brain cells to become insulated from the body, rendering the cells unable to detect signals of fullness to stop eating," Professor Cowley said.

"Secondly, the insulation also created a further complication in that the body was unable to detect signals to increase energy use and burn off calories/kilojoules."

The research showed that support cells in the brain developed overgrowth in a high-fat diet. This prevented the regular brain cells (the melanocortin system or POMC neurons) from connecting with other neural mechanisms, which determine appetite and energy expenditure.

Professor Cowley said the study findings provide a critical link in addressing the obesity epidemic.

"These neuronal circuits regulate eating behaviours and energy expenditure and are a naturally occurring process in the brain. The circuits begin to form early in life so that people may have a tendency towards obesity even before they eat their first meal," Professor Cowley said.

Eating a high fat diet causes more "insulation" in the nerve cells, and makes it even harder for the brain to help a person lose weight.

"Obese people are not necessarily lacking willpower. Their brains do not know how full or how much fat they have stored, so the brain does not tell the body to stop refuelling. Subsequently, their body's ability to lose weight is significantly reduced."

Professor Cowley and fellow MODI researcher Dr Pablo Enriori collaborated with Research Chair and Professor of Comparative Medicine and Professor of Neurobiology Tamas Horvath and his team at the Yale School of Medicine in the United States, together with teams of scientists in Cincinnati, New Jersey, Mexico and Spain.

For a period of four months, the researchers monitored the eating and body composition of groups of mice and rats and found that those with a neural predisposition to obesity gained 30 per cent more weight compared to six per cent of the group with obesity-resistant cells.


'/>"/>

Contact: Samantha Blair
samantha.blair@monash.edu
61-399-034-841
Monash University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Cockroach brains could be rich stores of new antibiotics
2. The brain speaks
3. Insect brains are rich stores of new antibiotics
4. Major moral decisions use general-purpose brain circuits to manage uncertainty
5. Research heralds potential for early diagnosis of degenerative brain disorders
6. New study sheds light on painkilling system in brain
7. Gene scan finds link across array of childhood brain disorders
8. Brain connections break down as we age
9. Brain gene expression changes when honey bees go the distance
10. Boston Univ., Veterans Affairs find sports brain trauma may cause disease mimicking ALS
11. Saving the brains white matter with mutated mice
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/30/2017)... 2017 Trends, opportunities and forecast in this ... technology (fingerprint, AFIS, iris recognition, facial recognition, hand geometry, ... end use industry (government and law enforcement, commercial and ... and others), and by region ( North America ... Asia Pacific , and the Rest of the ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... India , March 28, 2017 ... IP, Biometrics), Hardware (Camera, Monitors, Servers, Storage Devices), Software ... Vertical, and Region - Global Forecast to 2022", published ... Billion in 2016 and is projected to reach USD ... between 2017 and 2022. The base year considered for ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... The Controller General of Immigration from Maldives Mr. Mohamed ... received the prestigious international IAIR Award for the most innovative high security ... ... Maldives Immigration Controller General, ... picture on the right) have received the IAIR award for the "Most ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/26/2017)... Kong (PRWEB) , ... April 26, 2017 , ... ... hosted in EMEA and North America this May on ... May 16-18 , Donald H. Taylor, Chairman of the Learning and Performance Institute ...
(Date:4/25/2017)... ... April 25, 2017 , ... Franz Inc ... (CL) development tools, and market leader for Semantic Graph Database technology, ... available within the most effective system for developing and deploying applications to solve ...
(Date:4/25/2017)... ... April 25, 2017 , ... ... Partners.     , Covalent’s Analytical Services unit provides high-quality data to clients, ... within 24 hours of receipt. There are no price premiums, and customers are ...
(Date:4/21/2017)... ... April 21, 2017 , ... ... manufactures in 10 categories with over 30 nominees and well as the first-year ... the new award and the event was hosted by CompanyWeek and Manufacturers Edge, ...
Breaking Biology Technology: