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Study: Stress and Obesity are Biologically Linked
About the Study’s Findings
Researchers from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem found that a type of microRNA may bridge stress and obesity. Once thought of as “junk DNA,” microRNA is part of the human genome that plays an important role in regulating protein production and essential neurotransmitters. The study’s researchers found that stress and anxiety can increase the level of microRNA regulators of inflammation in the brain and gut.
“We revealed that some anxiety-induced microRNA are not only capable of suppressing inflammation but can also potentiate metabolic syndrome-related processes,” said lead researcher Dr. Hermona Soreq. “We also found that their expression level is different in diverse tissues and cells, depending on heredity and exposure to stressful situations.”
The study’s researchers believe these findings will open the door for new ways on how to detect, diagnose and treat anxiety and obesity.
“The discovery has a diagnostic value and practical implications, because the activity of microRNAs can be manipulated by DNA-based drugs,” said Dr. Soreq. “It also offers an opportunity to reclassify ‘healthy’ and ‘unhealthy’ anxiety and metabolic-prone states, and inform putative strategies to treat these disorders.”
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