Western Diets Make You Fat

Foods high in fat and sugar turn our bodies into “supersized fat-storing” machines.
New research shows how foods high in fat and sugar stimulate an opioid receptor, called the kappa opioid receptor, which plays a role in fat metabolism .
Once this receptor is stimulated, it causes our bodies to hang onto more fat than our bodies would otherwise do.
Study author Traci Ann Czyzyk-Morgan stated that “the data presented here support the hypothesis that overactivation of kappa opioid receptors contribute to the development of obesity specifically during prolonged consumption of high-fat, calorically dense diets .”
Czyzyk-Morgan and colleagues made this discovery whilst conducting tests in two groups of mice.
One group had the kappa opioid receptor genetically deactivated (“knocked out”) and the other group was normal. Both groups of mice were placed on a high fat, high sucrose, and energy dense diet for 16 weeks.
The control group of mice put on quite a lot of weight and fat mass whilst on this diet, whereas, the mice with the deactivated receptor stayed lean.
As well as lower fat stores, the mice with the deactivated receptor also showed a lower ability to store incoming nutrients.
Even though more work is needed to examine the specific effects on humans, this study could help address the growing obesity problem throughout the world in the short-term and long-term.

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