Extra portions of your favorite foods can lead to weight gain over time. A team of researchers, led by Baylor College of Medicine, have identified a gut-brain connection that explains in part why this happens.
While investigating mice, the team observed that those eating a high-fat diet showed higher levels of hormone produced by the gut, called gastric inhibitory polypeptide or GIP for short. GIP is involved in managing the balance of energy in the body, and in these mice the team saw the excess GIP travel to the brain, where it inhibits another hormone, leptin, that helps to tell the body it is full. By blocking the action of leptin, the excess GIP levels meant that the mice continued to eat, consequently gaining weight.
The team were able to block the interaction of GIP in the hypothalamus in the brains of some of the mice, thus restoring the ability of leptin to tell the body when it is full. In doing so, the researchers saw they that the animals ate less, and lost weight, revealing a gut-brain connection that may one day be utilized in weight loss strategies for humans.
Source: Science Daily
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