October 11, 2013

The Influence of Brain Stress on T2D


brain-stressThe brain controls the body. Current findings have linked brain stress in the role of influencing obesity and T2D. The findings are reported in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

The hypothalamus is the part of the brain that regulates appetite and energy production. Researchers found that obesity and T2D can create a stress response in the brain that may contribute to altering metabolism throughout the body.

Hsp60 is a stress response protein that protects the mitochondria and  influences hypothalamic insulin resistance and mitochondrial dysfunction in the “power plants” of the cell that produce energy.

In people who are obese and have T2D, the level of Hsp60 goes down, making mitochondria less efficient and causing insulin resistance in the brain and the body.

The investigators also showed that leptin, the hormone produced by fat cells that regulates appetite, is one of the key factors that regulate Hsp60 in the hypothalamus. In people who are obese, this regulation is lost.

Fortunately, these negative effects are not permanent. Hsp60 deficiency can be reversed by weight loss. Exercise is always a good idea but there is potential to develop drugs that boost Hsp60 levels and improve leptin sensitivity.

Knowing what we know from this study, perhaps there is a place in the vocabulary of people with  prediabetes for the word goosfraba. Goosfraba is something Eskimos say to their children to calm them down. Try it and see if it works for you like it did for Jack Nicholson in “Anger Management“.

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