Saturday, August 6, 2011

Why dieters struggle to lose weight

Today, Saturday, August 6, 2011, PAGE 23, Science
Source Website:
THE DAILY TELEGRAPH, 04:45 AM Aug 06, 2011

PHOTO: Why dieters struggle to lose weight
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Today, Saturday, August 6, 2011, PAGE 23, Science

NEW YORK - Dieters struggle to lose weight because a lack of nutrition forces their brain cells to eat themselves, making the feeling of hunger even stronger, scientists claim.

Like other parts of the body, brain cells begin to eat themselves as a last-ditch source of energy to ward off starvation, a study found.

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The body responds by turning up the hunger signal in the brain and increasing the impulse to eat.

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Researchers from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine at Yeshiva University in New York said the findings could lead to new scientifically proven weight loss treatments.

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Tests on mice found that stopping the brain cells from eating themselves - a process known as autophagy - prevented levels of hunger from rising in response to starvation.

This caused mice to become lighter and slimmer after a period of fasting, the researchers reported in the journal Cell Metabolism.

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Dr Rajat Singh, who led the study, said that treatments aimed to recreate this process "might make you less hungry and burn more fat, a good way to maintain energy balance in a world where calories are cheap and plentiful".

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