Ice cream may target the brain before your hips, UT Southwestern study suggests

This is Dr. Deborah Clegg from UT Southwestern Medical Center. Photo credit: UT Southwestern Medical CenterDALLAS – Sept. 14, 2009 – Blame your brain for sabotaging your efforts to get back on track after splurging on an extra scoop of ice cream or that second burger during Friday night’s football game.

Findings from a new UT Southwestern Medical Center study suggest that fat from certain foods we eat makes its way to the brain. Once there, the fat molecules cause the brain to send messages to the body’s cells, warning them to ignore the appetite-suppressing signals from leptin and insulin, hormones involved in weight regulation.

The researchers also found that one particular type of fat – palmitic acid – is particularly effective at instigating this mechanism.

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