Inflammation linked to obesity

Inflammation is a cause - as well as a result - of obesityA so-called master switch of inflammation may play a part in determining whether a person becomes obese, new research suggests.

In a mouse study, scientists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of California-San Diego looked at how the process of overeating affects the brain.

The findings, published in the journal Cell, reveal that consuming an abundance of calories triggers an inflammation switch in the hypothalamus that caused the mice to gain weight and become resistant to hormones that control blood sugar and fullness.

Meanwhile, mice who had that inflammation switch suppressed did not gain weight, even when eating a high-fat diet.

Previously, researchers had focused on chronic inflammation as a consequence of obesity. However, these new findings suggest that inflammation is also a cause.

Lead author Dr. Dongsheng Cai explained that “this response, when induced, can promote overeating, contributing to increased levels of caloric overconsumption … like a vicious cycle.”

Consuming certain foods and nutritional supplements may help reduce inflammation. Some research has indicated the supplements containing folic acid can effectively decrease inflammatory markers.