The research – published in the journal Science Translational Medicine – found that when mice were fed a high-fat diet, they were more likely to overeat. This is because they started producing a hormone called MMP-2, which essentially blocks leptin from binding to its receptors (FYI: leptins job is to inform the brain that your stomach is full.)
The researchers believe these findings explain why leptin resistance is so common among patients with obesity. In fact, they hope that in the future clinicians will be able to treat this condition by blocking the MMP-2.
That said, the study has its limitations: the type of fat the mice were fed wasn’t disclosed (i.e, whether it was monounsaturated fats like avo, nuts and olive oil or unhealthy saturated or trans fats.) Of course, more research on humans is needed too:
“We opened a new field of study for metabolic disease,” said Rafi Mazor, a research scientist at the University of California San Diego and the study’s lead author.
“We need to ask what other pathways, in addition to leptin and its receptors, undergo a similar destructive process and what the consequences might be.”