The results of the study indicates that an increase in BDNF results in an unconscious reduction in appetite.
- In the study, 15 participants were asked to maintain their current diet while participating in a three month program of aerobic exercise.
- At the end of the study, the two legged guinea pigs reported a reduction in perceived appetite as well as the actual amount of calories ingested.
- This led to an overall reduction in BMI, waist circumference and blood pressure.
- Most importantly, the participants with the highest concentration of BDNF showed the sharpest reduction in calories and the greatest loss of body-fat.
What does this mean in the real world?
I don’t know…yet.
At the present time, I see at least two problems with this study.
- The small sample size – 15 overweight test subjects does not excite Big Pharma. However, based on the results alone, these researchers should have little trouble finding more investors for a new, larger study.
- The researchers did not test appetite suppression directly. In this study, the participants were unaware that one of the objectives was to evaluate changes in appetite and caloric intake. Once again, Big Pharma would not be impressed.
- Small studies often lead to big studies which often lead to medical breakthroughs.
Current research into obesity is progressing at a ridiculous pace. Just think about it; the company that can patent an effective weight loss drug with no scary side effects will make an obscene amount of money. BDNF may not be the answer, but the fact that this study has shown it to be a marker of appetite suppression is a good thing.
In the future, a blood test for BDNF sensitivity may be able to tell your doctor whether or not aerobic exercise will help you lose weight.
Who knows, maybe some smartypants will come up with a synthetic form of BDNF and we can all get the appetite squashing benefits of a good cardio workout while sitting on the couch.
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