With around 200 billion people worldwide overweight, with around 600 million considered obese, the health community are desperately looking for answers and solutions to this epidemic.
In a recent study at the Vanderbilt University, a team of researchers from the Neuroscience Program in Substance Abuse (N-PISA) have discovered that high fat diet lead to overeating.
What did the study discover?
In the study published in the journal Heliyon the researchers found that high fat diets cause defective brain signals to occur, which ultimately results in overeating and obesity.
After looking at mice who were fed a high-fat diet, they discovered that those with defective brain signals were more inclined to overeat.
One of the authors of the study, Dr. Aurelio Galli, had this to say about their findings:
“We have always been struck by how much animals – and even people – will over-consume tasty high-fat foods, even though they might be technically feeling full.”
“A high fat diet causes people to eat more, which ultimately impairs the ability of obese people to successfully control their caloric intake, lose weight and maintain weight loss. We have conducted several studies trying to understand why a high fat diet has this effect.”
What did the study involve?
Rapamycin complex 2 (mTORC2) is a group of proteins involved in insulin signalling in the brain. The researchers removed part of mTORC2 from mice, who were then fed a high-fat or low-fat diet.
They discovered that those who ate the high-fat diet overate, while those mice on the low-fat diet ate normally.
“Our findings reveal a system that is designed to control eating of rewarding foods that are high in fat and possibly sugar.”
“This system can be hijacked by the very foods that it is designed to control. Eating a high-fat or high-carbohydrate diet feels rewarding, but also appears to cause changes in the brain areas that are involved in controlling eating, by causing for example insulin resistance. Our study shows that when specific signalling in these areas of the brain is disrupted, it leads to a vicious cycle of increasing, escalating high-fat diet intake that likely further cements changes in these brain areas.”
Research is still in its infancy, but the researchers are planning on restoring the mTORC2 to the now obese mice to see if it helps them to start eating normally once more.