Overeating appears to trigger changes in the brain that can lead to diabetes and obesity, new research shows.
The study, by a team of specialists from Mount Sinai School of Medicine, found that overeating impairs the ability of brain insulin to suppress the breakdown of fat in the body — a finding that sheds light on how unhealthy diets promote disease and weight gain.
"We are interested in understanding why people who eat too much eventually develop diabetes,” said lead researcher Dr. Christoph Buettner, associate professor of medicine. “Our recent studies suggest that once you overeat, your brain develops insulin resistance.” That, in turn, suppresses the process by which the body breaks down in fat tissues, elevating fatty acids in the blood, which can lead to or worsen obesity and type 2 diabetes.Wheat Belly: #1 Diet and Health Book in America Changing Lives - ONLY $4.95! Save $21!
The findings, published online in The Journal of Biological Chemistry, suggested overeating begets a “vicious cycle” that can cause significant health risks. Although the research involved laboratory rats, Buettner said the findings have significant implications for people.
"When you overeat, your brain becomes unresponsive to these important clues such as insulin, which puts you on the road to diabetes,” said Buettner. “We believe that what happens in rats also happens in humans."
The study was funded, in part, by the National Institutes of Health and the American Diabetes Association.