Chronic Stress Can Help Spur Obesity: Study
July 3, 2007
An international team of researchers say a biological switch may promote obesity in chronically stressed people, the Washington Post reported.
Scientists led by researchers at Georgetown University, in Washington, D.C., say they've identified a neurochemical pathway in mice that triggers fat growth among animals that eat a high-fat, high sugar diet. Blocking signals to this pathway could prevent fat from accumulating and actually shrink existing fat deposits, the researchers said.
"There is a lot of uncontrollable stress right now in our societies," Mary Dallman at the University of California, San Francisco, wrote in a commentary accompanying the research. "This could help explain the obesity epidemic."
The researchers cautioned that their findings need to be replicated in people, the Post reported. Human testing could begin within two years, they added.
Results of the research are published online in the journal Nature Medicine.
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