Vitamin D deficiency leads to obesity, stunted growth in zebrafish — ScienceDaily

Using a zebrafish model, researchers from North Carolina State University have found that vitamin D deficiency during early development can disrupt the metabolic balance between growth and fat accumulation. The results suggest a linkage between vitamin D and metabolic homeostasis, or equilibrium.

The research team, led by Seth Kullman, professor of biological sciences at NC State, looked at groups of post-juvenile zebrafish on one of three diets: no vitamin D (or vitamin D null), vitamin D enriched and control. The zebrafish spent four months on their particular diet, then the researchers looked at their growth, bone density, triglyceride, lipid, cholesterol and vitamin D levels. They also examined key metabolic pathways associated with fat production, storage and mobilization and growth promotion.

The zebrafish in the vitamin D deficient group were, on average, 50% smaller than those in the other two groups, and they had significantly more fat reserves.

“The vitamin D

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Genetic risk of developing obesity is driven by variants that affect the brain — ScienceDaily

Over the past decade, scientists have identified hundreds of different genetic variants that increase a person’s risk of developing obesity. But a lot of work remains to understand how these variants translate into obesity. Now scientists at the University of Copenhagen have identified populations of cells in the body that play a role in the development of the disease — and they are all in the brain.

“Our results provide evidence that biological processes outside the traditional organs investigated in obesity research, such as fat cells, play a key role in human obesity,” says Associate Professor Tune H Pers from the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research (CBMR), at the University of Copenhagen, who published his team’s findings in the internationally-recognized journal eLife.

“We identified cell types in the brain that regulate memory, behavior and processing of sensory information that are involved in the development of the

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World first study links obesity with reduced brain plasticity — ScienceDaily

A world-first study has found that severely overweight people are less likely to be able to re-wire their brains and find new neural pathways, a discovery that has significant implications for people recovering from a stroke or brain injury.

In a new paper published in Brain Sciences, researchers from UniSA and Deakin University show that brain plasticity is impaired in obese people, making it less likely that they can learn new tasks or remember things.

Using a series of experiments involving transcranial magnetic stimulation, the researchers tested 15 obese people aged between 18 and 60, comparing them with 15 people in a healthy-weight control group.

Repeated pulses of electrical stimulation were applied to the brain to see how strongly it responded. The healthy-weight control group recorded significant neural activity in response to the stimulation, suggesting a normal brain plasticity response. In contrast, the response in the obese group was

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Smoking and obesity identified to have causal link with susceptibility to severe COVID-19 and sepsis

News23 SepSmoking and obesity identified to have causal link with susceptibility to severe COVID-19 and sepsis
Credit: Julia Engel on Unsplash

An international collaboration of scientists from the UK, Norway and the U.S. have identified genetic evidence supporting a causal effect of smoking and obesity on increasing susceptibility to severe COVID-19 and sepsis.

Published online in Circulation today, the results show that both smoking and higher body mass index (BMI, a measure of obesity) increase risk of severe COVID-19. The same was also true for the risk of developing sepsis, which is a dangerous inflammatory response to infection, experienced by many patients with severe COVID-19.

Confirming the causal connection also highlights that stopping smoking and losing weight can be effective interventions for reducing the risk of developing severe COVID-19 and sepsis.

Led by Dr. Dipender Gill, from St George’s, University of London and Imperial College London, the “Mendelian randomisation” study considered separate datasets of 3,199 patients with severe COVID-19 and 10,154 patients with sepsis. Using genetic

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