High fat diet link to brain change

High fat diets contribute to the development of obesity beyond their calorific content by affecting brain development, research in rats shows.

Tim Klockener and colleagues from the University of Cologne, Germany, found that high fat diets lead to changes in neural signalling. They showed that raised insulin levels caused by high fat diets affect the firing of neurons in the ventromedial region of the hypothalamus.

Alterations in firing of these neurons in turn change the pattern of their signalling to other brain regions, leading to glucose intolerance and obesity. Disrupting this pathway made mice resistant to weight gain even when given a high fat diet, the researchers found.

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