Food and Behaviour Research

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19 January 2015 - MNT - Fat regulation: Could your brain instruct your body to burn more fat?

By uncovering the action of two naturally occurring hormones, scientists may have discovered a way to assist in the shedding of excess fat.

The findings, published in the journal Cell, give new insights into how the brain regulates body fat and may lead to more effective ways to lose weight and prevent obesity by promoting the conversion of white fat to brown fat.

Monash University researchers unravelled a molecular mechanism that depends on the combined action of two hormones - leptin, an appetite suppressant generated in fat cells, and insulin, produced in the pancreas in response to rising levels of glucose in the blood. Their research shows that the two hormones act in concert on a group of neurons in the brain to stimulate the burning of body fat via the nervous system.