(December 17, 2002) Bethesda, MD - That people are getting fatter is not news. Around the globe, physically demanding occupations like farming and mining are now carried out by machines. Western values such as television and automobiles are now encroaching on the most isolated environments. Finally, a highly processed diet -- along with a sedentary lifestyle -- is the likely culprit in the high rates of obesity seen among indigenous peoples who were originally hunters and foragers. Now they eat a diet that is "entirely store bought and provided by truck." Scientists and anthropologists have observed that in some societies, a high rate of infectious disease seems to be keeping children's weight low or substandard while many of the adults are obese. In effect, very small children evolve very quickly into obese adults.
The aesthetic qualities of obesity are the least of the problems associated with this spike in worldwide weight gain. The disorder is associated with an increased risk of life threatening conditions such as diabetes, hypertension and heart diseases, and weight loss has been reported to ameliorate these associated conditions. To prevent these chronic disorders, some try to reduce weight by caloric restriction; however the effort generally fails as most obese patients regain their lost weight thereafter.
Therefore, medicinal treatment becomes a necessity. One facet currently being explored is the central regulators of food intake. This includes the cannabinoid system with its putative endogenous ligands anandamide and 2-arachidonoyl glycerol (2-AG). In addition to its many pharmacological activities, this system has been implicated in food intake regulation.
Stimulation of appetite is one of the most commonly related effects of marijuana in humans and delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (-9-THC), the main active component of this drug, has been reported to produce hyperphagia. The endogenous cannabinoids anandamide and 2-AG also sPage: 1 2 3 4 Related biology news :1
Contact: Donna Krupa
American Physiological Society
. Endometriosis: Could angiostatic therapy be the new treatment of the future?2
. Could mice hold the secret to longer life?3
. Could vitamins raise levels of bad cholesterol? Animal study suggests they might4
. Could memory performance and spatial learning be genetically based?5
. Could a specific protein contribute to erectile dysfunction for the diabetic and obese?6
. Could diabetes treatments fight cancer?7
. Could rice be the source for a natural herbicide?8
. Could hibernators hold the key to improving organ preservation?9
. Could Bt transgenic crops have nutritionally favourable effects on insects?10
. Could one less cookie a day help the fight against fat?11
. Study finds genetic aberrations linked to lung cancer; Could help in early diagnosis