With the growing popularity of weight-loss medications like Ozempic and Mounjaro and the increasing number of people turning to supplements like berberine, known as “nature’s Ozempic,” ways to lose weight have become popular.
Nevertheless, many obese individuals report difficulty maintaining their weight loss.
Now, new research demonstrates that weight loss and weight maintenance require more than just willpower: According to experts, your brain’s response to food may have a significant impact.
Even after significant weight loss, the brain responds differently to nutrients in obese individuals, according to a recent study that was published in Nature Metabolism.
60 over-40 participants were studied by researchers; Half were found to be obese, while the other half were not.
On distinct days, various solutions containing glucose, lipids, or water alone were directly infused into the stomachs of participants to gain an understanding of how the brain responds to food in these two groups. After the infusion, functional MRI scans were used to measure brain responses for about 30 minutes. The researchers also measured blood hormone levels and participant-reported hunger scores.
The findings demonstrated that the appropriate activation of reward centers in the brain in response to the nutrients occurred in the group of participants who did not have obesity.
MORE: Woman talks about how she lost weight after taking semaglutide for weight loss. On the other hand, participants who were obese did not have these same brain regions activated on the scan.
This finding didn’t change in the wake of rehashing the output three months after the fact in members with heftiness who experienced 10% eating routine driven weight reduction.
According to experts, this lack of a reward response might cause people to eat too much and make it hard to change eating habits that can cause weight gain.
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“This concentrate ridiculously demonstrates the organic and cerebrum causes are commitments for overweight and corpulence are actually a genuine article,” said Dr. Jennifer Ashton, ABC News boss clinical reporter and board-guaranteed heftiness medication trained professional.
Researchers in the study warn that there are important limitations, despite the fact that these findings further support what experts already know to be true: that there is more to weight loss than willpower.
It may not be applicable to younger populations because it was only conducted on a small number of adults over 40. Also, the study gave the nutrients through a feeding tube, which doesn’t really reflect how most people eat or how they choose their food, so these differences in the brain may not always be true.
Experts also emphasize that despite these changes, these findings do not guarantee that someone with obesity will be able to lose weight and keep it off. Ashton goes on to say that she hopes studies like this one will lead to more targeted treatments for people who are overweight or obese and will add to the evidence that explains why weight loss medications like Wegovy are working so well for some people.
According to Ashton, “I think it represents a possibility for target and intervention starting in the brain with those hormonal signals of hunger and satiety,” which is what a lot of FDA-approved weight loss medications are doing.
A member of the ABC News Medical Unit is Dr. Jade A. Cobern, M.D., M.P.H., who is board-certified in pediatrics and a resident in General Preventive Medicine at Johns Hopkins.