Several factors are known to contribute to the obesity epidemic. One of them is a change in the composition of intestinal bacteria. Microorganisms, which appear in large numbers in obese people, stimulate the absorption of nutrients from food. Even a regular apple can be more nutritious for an obese person than for a person of average weight. Another possible cause is the death of a group of neurons in the hypothalamus responsible for satiety.
Scientists have determined which of these factors is the root cause and which is the consequence. The experiments were carried out on mice, whose diet was rich in saturated fatty acids, for four months. Periodically, some of the animals were sacrificed to analyze their intestinal microflora and brains.
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It turned out that damage in the hypothalamus occurs earlier than changes in the intestinal microflora. When the level of lipids in the blood rises, the immune cells of the central nervous system – microglia – begin to produce pro-inflammatory substances that negatively affect the hypothalamus’ neurons. Ultimately, the nerve cells die. Disorders occur long before a person begins to gain weight.
Adapted and translated by Wiki Avenue Staff
Sources: Today Lifestyle