In their latest finding on the brains role in controlling appetite and weight, researchers at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine have shown that reducing levels of fatty acids in the hypothalamus causes rats to overeat and become obese. Their results suggest that restoring fatty-acid levels in the brain may be a promising way to treat obesity. The study, published in the January 15th on-line edition of Nature Neuroscience, was led by Dr. Luciano Rossetti, director of the Diabetes Research Center at Einstein. (The paper will appear in print in the February issue.)
The brains hypothalamus keeps track of the bodys nutritional status by monitoring the blood levels of several different hormones and nutrients. Taking this information into account, the hypothalamus regulates our energy intake and metabolism.
In a study published last year in Science, Dr. Rossetti and his colleagues showed how the hypothalamus monitors and regulates glucose levels in the body. The present study shows that this brain region also monitors fatty acid levels and responds by controlling appetite.
Karen Gardner | EurekAlert!
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