It’s all in your gut and mind.
Sommaire de l'article
Obesity has become a global problem affecting adults and children alike. Lifestyle choices both personal and industry driven can be blamed for the rise in obesity. One must distinguish between the possibly reversible overweight condition and the almost intractable actual morbid obesity where predisposing genetic factors may come into play. Both however exhibit consequences to health with a severity that cannot be underestimated. Deleterious changes to metabolism can lead to type II diabetes and atherosclerosis and other organ dysfunctions. It has long been recognized that there are two main types of fatty tissue in the body, white adipose tissue (WAT) serving a storage function and brown adipose tissue (BAT) serving a thermogenic function. The new discovery has been that WAT cells can be induced to undergo conversion (browning) to BAT to yield what is called beige adipose tissue, acquiring the thermogenic function. The clinical dream is to be able to promote browning and to induce, what may be called, burning off the fat. In this B&B article I entice the reader with a recent study that shows how two key hormones insulin and leptin operate cooperatively in the brain to monitor and regulate energy balance and the downstream effect of browning. I present other studies to add additional perspectives to the understanding of the mechanisms in peripheral tissues and other hormones that play additional key roles. Whether obesity can be conquered therapeutically by manipulating the regulatory systems is still an open question.