Three months of aerobic exercise decreased body fat and calorie intake in overweight and obese people, according to a new study, and the researchers believe that changes to a central nervous system factor are responsible.
A research team at the University of Chile Clinical Hospital in Santiago, led by A. Veronica Araya, MD, assistant professor, showed that decreased food intake and reduced body mass index (BMI), a measure of body fat, were linked to increased levels of a protein called brain-derived neurotrophic factor, or BDNF. Its main role is promoting the growth and survival of nerve cells, according to Araya.
However, recent evidence shows that BDNF also is related to obesity and metabolism. The authors speculated that it could suppress appetite.
The team evaluated blood levels of BDNF before and after a three-month program of aerobic exercise in 15 overweight or obese men and women.
Over the three months, BDNF levels greatly increased. This higher the concentration of BDNF, the less the subject’s intake of calories and the greater the weight loss, Araya said. Thus, it is possible that increases in BDNF suppress appetite, she said.
Source: News Medical