Brain chemical ‘boosts weight loss’
A chemical in the brain helps the body to burn off excess calories after eating a high-fat meal, which could boost weight loss, recent research has suggested.
Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center in the US found that the brain enzyme, known as PI3 kinase, could control the increased generation of body heat and it is this that burns excess calories.
A study found that mice with reduced PI3 kinase activity gained weight because they were unable to produce this thermogenic response.
"Specific brain cells and PI3 kinase seem to play a key role in how mice, and potentially humans, respond on a physiological level to a high-fat diet," explained Dr Joel Elmquist, professor of internal medicine, psychiatry and pharmacology at UT Southwestern.
Earlier this month, research funded by the Wellcome Trust and the British Heart Foundation revealed that pregnant women who eat a high-fat diet could be increasing their child’s risk of being born with birth defects such as congenital heart disease or a cleft palate.
Could you cut some fat out of your diet?