Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Childhood exercise may stave off bad effects of maternal obesity, animal study suggests

Date:
November 25, 2013
Source:
Johns Hopkins Medicine
Summary:
Rats whose mothers were fed a high-fat diet during pregnancy and nursing were able to stave off some of the detrimental health effects of obesity by exercising during their adolescence.

Rats whose mothers were fed a high-fat diet during pregnancy and nursing were able to stave off some of the detrimental health effects of obesity by exercising during their adolescence, new Johns Hopkins research shows.

Even though the rat offspring weighed the same as their sedentary counterparts, the exercising rats had fewer fat deposits and their brains were better able to respond to a hormone known to suppress the appetite -- long after they stopped running on their exercise wheels.

Because mammals (including rats and humans) share much of their biology, the findings suggest that childhood exercise might help mitigate some of the risks that human children of obese parents are biologically primed to follow in their parents' footsteps and to develop diabetes and other obesity-related disorders. A report on the research is published in the November issue of the American Journal of Physiology -- Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology.

"Just three weeks of exercise early in life had a persistent effect on the satiety centers of the brains of these rat pups," says study leader Kellie L. K. Tamashiro, Ph.D., an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. "If we can find a way to take advantage of that phenomenon in humans that would be great, because preventing obesity is probably going to be much easier to do than reversing it."

Tamashiro and her colleagues fed pregnant rats a high-fat diet and continued that diet while they were nursing their pups. The animals were weaned on a healthier, standard low-fat diet and at four weeks of age, the equivalent of rodent early adolescence, some were given free access to running wheels in their cages, while the others remained sedentary. The running wheels were taken away after three weeks.

To determine the impact of the exercise on appetite, at 14 weeks of age, the rats' brains were injected with the appetite-suppressing hormone leptin. Those that had exercised weeks before ate less, while the sedentary rats showed no differences in their appetites.

Leptin is naturally secreted by fat cells and helps many people to maintain a healthy weight. But obese people who have more leptin circulating in the bloodstream because they have more fat appear to develop insensitivity to the hormone, and at a certain point, their brains stop responding to it, Tamashiro says.

"There was something about the exercise that improved their leptin sensitivity, even the equivalent in humans of years later," she says.

She says their research suggests that exercise may better enable human brains to respond to leptin and eat less.

Previous research by Tamashiro and her Johns Hopkins team has shown that rats born to mothers fed high-fat diets but get normal levels of dietary fat right after birth avoid obesity and its related disorders as adults. They also found that rat pups exposed to a normal-fat diet in the womb but nursed by rat mothers on high-fat diets become obese by the time they are weaned.

Obese humans are often encouraged to exercise as part of a weight-loss program, but results are often frustration, Tamashiro says.

"Kids these days don't have as much opportunity for physical activity in school and are spending lots of time playing video games and engaging in other sedentary activities after school," she says. "Our research suggests that efforts to increase activity in kids could have positive long-term effects, regardless of whether they continue to exercise into adulthood."


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. B. Sun, N.-C. Liang, E. R. Ewald, R. H. Purcell, G. J. Boersma, J. Yan, T. H. Moran, K. L. K. Tamashiro. Early postweaning exercise improves central leptin sensitivity in offspring of rat dams fed high-fat diet during pregnancy and lactation. AJP: Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology, 2013; 305 (9): R1076 DOI: 10.1152/ajpregu.00566.2012

Cite This Page:

Johns Hopkins Medicine. "Childhood exercise may stave off bad effects of maternal obesity, animal study suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 November 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131125172023.htm>.
Johns Hopkins Medicine. (2013, November 25). Childhood exercise may stave off bad effects of maternal obesity, animal study suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131125172023.htm
Johns Hopkins Medicine. "Childhood exercise may stave off bad effects of maternal obesity, animal study suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131125172023.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

AP (July 31, 2014) Sarasota County, Florida health officials have issued a warning against eating raw oysters and exposing open wounds to coastal and inland waters after a dangerous bacteria killed one person and made another sick. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Peace Corps Pulls Workers From W. Africa Over Ebola Fears

Peace Corps Pulls Workers From W. Africa Over Ebola Fears

Newsy (July 30, 2014) The Peace Corps is one of several U.S.-based organizations to pull workers out of West Africa because of the Ebola outbreak. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Weather Kills 2K A Year, But Storms Aren't The Main Offender

Weather Kills 2K A Year, But Storms Aren't The Main Offender

Newsy (July 30, 2014) Health officials say 2,000 deaths occur each year in the U.S. due to weather, but it's excessive heat and cold that claim the most lives. 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