Developing therapeutic strategies for obesity has been a difficult task, primarily because, as has now been found, “free radicals” – molecules that are chiefly linked with aging and tissue damage – are apparently the key reason which leads to overeating in some people!
According to a ‘Daily Express’ report, it has been revealed by an international team of researchers - led by Yale School of Medicine – that ‘free radicals’ play a crucial role in suppressing appetite.
While the ‘free radicals’ have thus far been thought to primarily drive the aging process, it has now been found – on the basis of a study of the hunger-controlling brain circuits – that an elevation in the level of ‘free radicals’ in obese mice activated the satiety-promoting melanocortin neurons, and thereby suppressed the appetite of these mice.
In their findings, published in the journal 'Nature Medicine', the researchers said that role that ‘free radicals’ play in promoting satiety, as well as in the degenerative processes associated with aging, is apparently the reason why developing therapeutic strategies for obesity - without side-effects - has been such an uphill task.
Noting that, on one hand, a chronic exposure to ‘free radicals’ can damage cells and promote aging; and on the other, one “must have these critical signalling molecules to stop eating,” lead researcher Prof Tamas Horvath said described the ‘free radicals’ scenario as a “Catch-22” sitaution!