Researchers develop treatment to retain weight loss

June 21st, 2008 - 2:49 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, June 21 (IANS) Researchers are developing treatment that helps individuals retain their weight loss, as the bulk of them soon regain whatever they have lost. Besides, the obese are also known to face greater risk of many diseases, including type 2-diabetes and heart disease, according to a study by Columbia University Medical Centre.

The research by Michael Rosenbaum and colleagues provides new insight into the crucial interaction between the hormone leptin and the brain’s response to weight loss.

Leptin levels fall as obese individuals lose weight. So, the authors set out to see whether changes in leptin levels altered activity in the regions of the brain known to have a role in regulating food intake.

They observed that activity in these regions of the brain, responding to visual food-related cues, changed after an obese individual successfully lost weight.

However, these changes in brain activity were not observed if those who had successfully lost weight were treated with leptin.

These data are consistent with the idea that the decrease in leptin levels that occurs when an individual loses weight serves to protect the body against the loss of fat.

Both the authors and in an accompanying commentary, Rexford Ahima of University of Pennsylvania suggest that leptin therapy after weight loss might improve weight maintenance.

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