In America, it seems like a major issue that is plaguing us with worry is obesity. Some of the lucky ones with a faster metabolism, allowing digestion to occur more quickly, results in a more or less slimmer figure. But has anyone ever given thought that it might be the other way around also?
Baoji Xu, Ph.D. has. As an associate professor of pharmacology and physiology at Georgetown University Medical Center, Xu has been researching a single gene mutation that occurs within the brain-derived neurotrophic factor gene (Bdnf). With this mutation, the brain does not receive the chemical signals needed, by leptin and insulin, to turn on the mechanism that suppresses the desire to keep eating, and then tells the body that it is now full. Without these signals transmitted, individuals will just keep eating until they become obese and beyond. The can never fully feel satisfied.
Until this study, it was known that the Bdnf gene has some correlation with controlling body weight. After this study, published on the Nature’s Medicine website, now we know why. Bdnf synthesis is stimulated with leptin and insulin in the dendrites on neuroglia to get their chemical message across the synapses to adjacent neurons. With the mutation of the Bdnf gene, the chemical signals cannot be passed on through the neurons, and one’s hunger will never be suppressed.