Thursday, November 27, 2008

Mmm, pass the N-acylphosphatidylethanolamines!

Researchers have found a mechanism by which the brain responds to dietary fat. A certain type of lipids called N-acylphosphatidylethanolamines (NAPEs) are secreted by the smal intestine when you eat fatty foods; they go straight to the brain and concentrate in a center that regulates appetite. Rats dosed with NAPEs reduced their caloric intake without losing interest in food altogether. In other words, the chemicals appear to satisfy the brain's craving for fat.

What's more, chronic fat consumption seems to shut down the production of NAPEs by the intestine, not their effectiveness in the brain:
Animals fed a high-fat diet for 35 days lose the normal increases in circulating NAPE after a fatty meal. That suggest that derangements in NAPE secretion associated with chronic high-fat feeding may contribute to diet-induced obesity precipitated by overexposure to triglyceride-rich foods. However, those animals still responded to NAPE treatment.
So treatment with NAPEs may be useful in treating obesity by breaking the cycle of fat consumption.

I could use some of this stuff. Preferably with gravy.