Energy Deficits Induce Adverse Neuroendocrine Changes

Changes may adversely impact body composition by accrual of adipose tissue, loss of lean body mass

THURSDAY, Nov. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Energy deficits in animals and humans induce neuroendocrine changes that may adversely affect body composition, according to a review published online Nov. 10 in Obesity Reviews.

Amanda Sainsbury, Ph.D., and Lei Zhang, from the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Sydney, Australia, investigated the role of the hypothalamus in neuroendocrine regulation of body weight. A range of studies, from those about lean rodents and humans to those evaluating weight loss interventions in overweight and obese adults, were reviewed.

The investigators found that negative energy balance in lean animals and humans resulted in inhibition of the hypothalamo-pituitary-thyroid, -gonadotropic, and -somatotropic axes, but activated the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axes. Emerging data showed that these changes correlated with changes in overweight and obese people during weight loss through lifestyle interventions. Animal studies showed that these neuroendocrine changes were possibly due to hypothalamic actions of orexigenic and anorexigenic peptides. These changes can negatively affect body composition, by stimulating adipose tissue accumulation and lean body mass and bone loss.

"Current efforts to maximize loss of excess body fat in obese people may inadvertently be promoting long-term complications such as central obesity and associated health risks, as well as sarcopenia and osteoporosis," the authors write.

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