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Why Nuclear Receptors and Your Brain Could Help Cure Obesity

Obesity is currently one of the leading areas of concern for many countries. Primarily here in the United States of America, obesity is a rampant disease throughout most individuals. While companies will advertise diets, gyms and other things to cure this ongoing problem, these aren’t always the most effective when it comes to actual results. Researches are Yale’s School of Medicine might have found an incredible way to stop obesity, and it doesn’t have anything to do with diets, gyms, etc. In fact, it has to do with brains and nuclear receptors.

In recent studies, said researchers from Yale blocked the effects of the nuclear receptor PPARgamma in a small number of brain cells for one group of mice. These mice that were tested on showed a resistance to a diet that was high in fat and also ate less. Sabrina Diano is a professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at Yale School of Medicine. When talking about this topic, Sabrina said that “These animals ate fat and sugar, and did not gain weight, while their control littermates did. We showed that the PPARgamma receptor in neurons that produce POMC could control responses to a high-fat diet without resulting in obesity.” For those of you who aren’t quite familiar with all of those terms, let’s run through them real quick. Our food intake is regulated by POMC neurons that are located in the hypothalamus. When these neurons are activated, they give your body the feeling that it is full and does not need any more food. The regulation of the activation of said neurons is done by the PPARgamma. Diano also went on to say that “When we blocked PPARgamma in these hypothalamic cells, we found an increased level of free radical formation in POMC neurons, and they were more active.”

Along with possibly help find a cure to the ever-growing issue of obesity, Diano believes that their findings could also help with a cure to diabetes. One of the targets of thiazolidinedione (TZD) is PPARgamma. Diano additionally went on to say that “Our study suggests that the increased weight gain in diabetic patients treated with TZD could be due to the effect of this drug in the brain, therefore, targeting peripheral PPARgamma to treat type 2 diabetes should be done by developing TZD compounds that can’t penetrate the brain. We could keep the benefits of TZD without the side-effects of weight gain. Our next steps in this research are to test this theory in diabetes mouse models.”

What do you think about these reports? The case of obesity has been debated many times before. Some believe that is is a true disease afflicting people everywhere, while others are in the mindset that it is simply a lifestyle chosen by said afflicted individuals. No matter where you stand on the matter, there’s no denying that news like this is good news. More tests definitely need to be conducted before human tests of this process, but here’s to hoping we see more progress made on this study.

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