stress and obesity

i just came across this interesting study conducted by the georgetwon medical center.

they injected a neurotransmitter (neuropeptide Y, or NPY) into targeted areas of laboratory animals, thereby reducing the fat that had accumulated there.

the investigators speculate that their findings may lead to better control of metabolic syndrome.

the fascinating part of this is that this is connected to a mechanism the researchers found by which stress activates weight gain in mice. this may explain why people who are chronically stressed gain more weight than they should based on the calories they consume. (yippee! i’ve always been suspicious of the simplistic calories in, calories out theory.) said one of the researchers:

decreasing fat in the abdomen of the mice we studied reduced the fat in their liver and skeletal muscles, and also helped to control insulin resistance, glucose intolerance, blood pressure and inflammation. it might work the same way in humans, but much study will be needed to prove that.

the findings could provide some comfort to stressed individuals who blame themselves for a weight gain that seems outsized given the food they eat.

read more about this here.

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