Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Yo-yo dieting alters genes linked with stress

Date:
December 1, 2010
Source:
Society for Neuroscience
Summary:
Stressed-out mice with a history of dieting ate more high-fat foods than similarly stressed mice not previously on diets, according to a new study. The findings suggest that moderate diets change how the brain responds to stress and may make crash dieters more susceptible to weight gain.

Stressed-out mice with a history of dieting ate more high-fat foods than similarly stressed mice not previously on diets, according to a new study in the Dec. 1 issue of The Journal of Neuroscience. The findings suggest that moderate diets change how the brain responds to stress and may make crash dieters more susceptible to weight gain.

In this study, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania led by Tracy Bale, PhD, examined the behavior and hormone levels of mice on limited diets. After three weeks of fewer calories, the mice lost 10 to 15 percent of their body weight, similar to human diet weight loss.

One in every three Americans is now obese. "Yo-yo dieting" -- temporarily losing weight only to regain it, plus more -- is a well-known phenomenon. While previous studies show that mice on lifelong calorie-restricted diets live as much as 50 percent longer than their well-fed peers, little is known about the long-term consequences of quick-fix diets.

Bale and her colleagues found the mice had increased levels of the stress hormone corticosterone and displayed depression-like behavior. The authors also discovered that several genes important in regulating stress and eating had changed. Previous research shows that experiences can alter the form and structure of DNA, an effect known as epigenetics. Even after the mice were fed back to their normal weights, the epigenetic changes remained.

To investigate whether those molecular changes might affect future behavior, the researchers put the mice in stressful situations and monitored how much fatty foods they ate. The previously restricted mice ate more high-fat food than normal mice.

"These results suggest that dieting not only increases stress, making successful dieting more difficult, but that it may actually 'reprogram' how the brain responds to future stress and emotional drives for food," Bale said.

The findings illustrate the underlying mechanisms for why a piece of pizza is so appealing after a stressful day at work. The authors suggest that future weight loss drugs may target these stress-related molecules.

Jeffrey Zigman, MD, PhD, an expert in endocrinology, diabetes, and metabolism at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center who was unaffiliated with the study, said the conditions the mice experienced mimic the type of psychosocial stress that people often experience.

"This study highlights the difficult road that human dieters often travel to attain and maintain their weight loss goals," Zigman said. "It also suggests that management of stress during dieting may be key to achieving those goals."

The research was supported by the University of Pennsylvania Diabetes Center, National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Disease, the Health Research Formula Fund, and AstraZeneca.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Society for Neuroscience. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Society for Neuroscience. "Yo-yo dieting alters genes linked with stress." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 December 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101130171955.htm>.
Society for Neuroscience. (2010, December 1). Yo-yo dieting alters genes linked with stress. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101130171955.htm
Society for Neuroscience. "Yo-yo dieting alters genes linked with stress." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101130171955.htm (accessed April 21, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, April 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Newsy (Apr. 19, 2014) Nine-month-old Wyatt Scott was born with a rare disorder called congenital trismus, which prevents him from opening his mouth. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) In a potential breakthrough for future obesity treatments, scientists have used MRI scans to pinpoint brown fat in a living adult for the first time. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins