Fatty Diets make ones Brain Want More Fat
Recent data published in the journal Nature Neuroscience ( http://www.nature.com/neuro/journal/v15/n5/full/nn.3079.html ) has demonstrated that when animals are fed a fatty diet new neuron growth occurs in an important area of the brain (hypothalamus) responsible for the control of feeding behavior. Adult animals fed a high-fat diet from the time of weaning had a higher level of hypothalamic neurogenesis than animals raised on normal chow. If the researchers killed the new neurons by x-ray-mediated ablation the animals gained significantly less weight on the same high-fat diet. It is highly likely that in humans a similar fat diet-triggered increase in hypothalamic neurogenesis would lead to excessive weight gain and fat storage. The take home from this study is that hypothalamic neurogenesis may be a significant contributor to the overall picture of diet-induced obesity and diabetes. Remember a few of my other recent posts discussed the fact that "you are what your mother eats" indicating that mothers who eat caloric excess diets while pregnat have babies who are hard-wired (due to epigenetic changes) to want excess calorie intake and thus are extremely succeptible to obesity and diabetes. Now, if simultaneously, their brains are growing more neurons to promote continued desire for high calorie intake the battle of the bulge is vey likely a lost cause.