On July 1st, Georgetown University made headlines when they discovered a very specific connection between stress and weight gain. Investigators at the Medical Center who worked with mice found chemical triggers that cause fat storage. Identifying those triggers led to bigger things, like learning the ability to ‘turn it off’ to eliminate fatty deposit.
The researchers managed to make the fat disappear in mice. It was tested on mice that were stressed and eating junk food, and fat deposits shrank from 40% to 50% in 2 weeks. Imagine if they could someday implement it in humans.
The types of stress included putting in an aggressive alpha mouse and standing in puddles of cold water. Mice fed with high fat, high sugar diet gained more weight than expected. Moreover, the fat gained was the worst kind. Abdominal fat. It releases illness causing hormones and chemicals.
The Georgetown researchers found high levels of a chemical messenger called the NeuroPeptide Y (NPY) in fat, stressed out mice. The scientists managed to keep the mice from getting fat when they injected a substance to block NPY. The mice were continually put under the same stress and diet conditions but remained the same. No fat gain was discovered.
Imagine if NPY was injected into certain areas of the body, like the breasts. No more going through painful expensive surgeries. =)
Scientists Discover Key to Manipulating Fat
Pathway also explains stress-induced weight gain