Obesity Can Swell Up Your Brain and Not in a Good Way
Dec 30, 2011 13:29
Weight issues are a common battle women have to face to 'fit' into society. Losing weight isn't all that simple, and new research explains why. Obesity may cause inflammation in the brain, and just a single high-fat meal could have the same effect.
NPR reports a study which researchers made rats obese by feeding them a high-fat diet. The rats developed an inflammation in the hypothalamus, part of the brain that helps control weight and hunger. The inflammation appeared after a day, before the rats actually gained any weight.
The researchers did brain scans on 35 humans to see if the effect was similar, and found evidence consistent with inflammation in their hypothalami. The authors wrote, "These findings collectively suggest that, in both humans and rodent models, obesity is associated with neuronal injury in a brain area crucial for body weight control."
It is however untrue that a single high-fat meal will forever ruin your brain. Endocrinologist Rexford Ahima points out to NPR that the inflammation could actually be the brain's way of protecting itself from a fatty onslaught: "It may be a good thing," he says, that only turns bad if it's constant.
Now that we know that weight loss also has to do with your psychological reaction to food, it may help you control the kind of food you're feeding your body.