In a study done on rodents, researchers from University of Washington School of Medicine, found that fatty diet, can damage the hypothalamus, a part of brain controlling the appetite.
The study led by Michael Schwartz, an endocrinologist at the University, compared the effect of fatty diet on rodents.
“Within 24 hours of switching rodents to a high-fat diet, we found injury in the hypothalamus area,” said Schwartz.
In the first week of study, scientists noticed gliosis, (overgrowth of cells in damaged areas of the central nervous system) a sign that the brain tried to heal itself from injury.
Further, gliosis persisted as long as the rodents were on high fat diet.
Similar relationship between gliosis formation and body weight was seen during the brain imaging done of 34 healthy lean to obese people.
According to Joshua Thaler, the co-author of study, “Obesity might be linked with inflammation in the hypothalamus, which may prevent it from responding to hormones like insulin that regulate our body weight.”
The study findings are published in 'Journal of Clinical Investigation'.