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How Body Fat Talks To Your Brain

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by capslocked, Aug 31, 2015.

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    A previous Please or Register to view links has linked weight gain to stress, which supposedly drives people to overeat. However, new research from the University of Florida found that body fat can send a signal that affects the way the brain deals with stress and metabolism.

    According to a new study published in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology, body fat sends a signal to your brain that can kickstart a vicious cycle where you eat because you're stressed out, and as you gain more weight, you get even more stressed out.

    "Before this, everyone thought that the regulation of stress was mainly due to the brain,” reflects James Herman, Ph.D., a co-author of the paper and a professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience at the University of Cincinnati, on Please or Register to view links. “It's not just in the brain. This study suggests that stress regulation occurs on a much larger scale, including body systems controlling metabolism, such as fat."

    This study claims that fat tissue has glucocorticoid receptors, which help communicate stress levels to the brain to help regulate metabolism.

    "The stress response in the short term is adaptive. It's going to help you cope with stress. The idea that fat is actually talking to the brain to dampen stress is new," says study co-author Eric Krause, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the UF College of Pharmacy's Department of Pharmacodynamics.

    Herman says that understanding fat-to-brain signaling is just a first step toward someday being able to influence the complex relationship between stress, obesity and metabolism.

    “The big question is the nature of that signal to the brain. We need to learn how to go in and break that cycle of stress, eating and weight gain," he says
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