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Why Bones Might Hold the Secret to Weight Loss

Article Written by Tim Newman | Found on MedicalNewsToday

Scientists have found an entirely new mechanism by which our body measures and influences our weight. This “gravitostat” is thought to reside in our bones and may offer new treatment avenues for obesity.

In recent years, the link between spending long periods of time sitting down and obesity have been confirmed repeatedly.

Extended periods of sedentarism may even increase the risk of death from all causes.

The interaction between prolonged sitting and obesity does not seem particularly surprising; obesity follows naturally from less exercise.

However, some studies have shown that the relationship between hours spent sitting and obesity are independent of the amount of exercise undertaken.

In other words, standing itself seems to have anti-obesity powers beyond the number of calories it burns.

Recently, a group of researchers from the Sahlgrenska Academy, at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, looked into a novel mechanism that might, in part, explain these findings.

A new fat regulatory mechanism uncovered

A hormone called leptin is involved in regulating body fat. When it was first discovered, there were high hopes that it might help to treat obesity. Since leptin’s discovery 23 years ago, no other body fat regulatory system has been found — until now.

As Prof. John-Olov Jansson, of the Sahlgrenska Academy, states, “Quite simply, we have found support for the existence of internal bathroom scales. The weight of the body is registered in the lower extremities. If the body weight tends to increase, a signal is sent to the brain to decrease food intake and keep the body weight constant.”

To come to this intriguing and important conclusion, the research team ran a series of experiments on rodents (both rats and mice). The animals were implanted with weighted capsules, making them 15 percent heavier. Control animals had empty capsules implanted, increasing their body weight by just 3 percent.

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