Wednesday, March 07, 2007

In Obesity, Brain Becomes 'Unaware' Of Fat 

In Obesity, Brain Becomes 'Unaware' Of Fat: "Critical portions of the brain in those who are obese don't really know they are overweight, researchers have reported in the March issue of the journal Cell Metabolism, published by Cell Press. These findings in obese mice show that a sensor in the brain that normally detects a critical fat hormone--causing a cascade of events that keeps energy balance in check--fails to engage. Meanwhile, the rest of the metabolic pathway remains ready to respond.

'Obesity is not a failure of will power, it is a biological failure,' said Michael Cowley of Oregon Health & Science University of his group's findings in the mice. 'The brain is not aware that the body is obese.'

If the same is true in humans, he added, people may be consciously aware that they are overweight, but 'that's different from the homeostatic circuitry being aware.'"

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