This explains so much of all that is miamiracing...
When you overeat, it has an alarming effect on your brain, basically making it go haywire.
Calorie overload prompts a cascade of brain damage that may cause diabetes, heart disease and other problems, Reuters reports of research from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Specifically, when we eat too much at one sitting, all that food activates what is typically a dormant immune system pathway to the brain, sending out immune cells to attack and destroy invaders that are not there.
The good news is this could help explain why obesity causes so many different diseases, as well as possibly offering a way to prevent obesity in the first place. "This pathway is usually present but inactive in the brain," study leader Dongsheng Cai said in a statement.
Working with mice, Cai wanted to figure out why obesity causes chronic inflammation throughout the body--the same inflammation that is related to a host of diseases, including heart disease and diabetes. The team zeroed in on one compound called IKKbeta/NK-kappaB. While immune cells do use this compound, the researchers also found high levels of it in the hypothalamus, which is the part of the brain that is linked with metabolism, the "headquarters" for regulating energy. Interestingly, while IKKbeta/NK-kappaB was found in the hypothalamus, it was normally inactive there.
But when the mice consumed a high-fat diet, the compound became extremely active, ignoring signals from leptin, a hormone that normally helps regulate appetite, and insulin, which helps convert food into energy. Stimulating IKKbeta/NK-kappaB made the mice eat more, while suppressing it made them eat less, notes Reuters.
This could be groundbreaking: Cai thinks he and his team have discovered a master switch for the diseases caused by overeating. "Hypothalamic IKKb/NF-kB could underlie the entire family of modern diseases induced by overnutrition and obesity," his team wrote.
While it's not known why IKKbeta/NK-kappaB would be in both the brain and the immune system--it probably evolved long ago in primitive animals that didn't have the sophisticated immune systems we have today--Cai has determined that knocking it out helped the mice eat normally and avoid obesity. While this can't be done in human beings, Cai thinks a drug or gene therapy could have the same effect.
Obesity is a growing global problem, with 1.8 billion people estimated to be overweight or obese in 2007. The study findings were reported in the journal Cell
Similar Bodybuilding Threads: