A group of scientists from Isreal and the United States said an overactive endocannabinoid system (ECS) may increase our desire to eat.
In a double whammy, the experimental research showed that a malfunctioning ECS also slows down the body’s ability to burn off calories.
The researchers first fed mice a diet that made them obese.
Then they used a chemical agent to essentially “block” the cannabinoid receptors.
Blocking CB1 receptors effectively reduced their desire to eat, while increasing the amount of energy they burned.
The study found that: “Accumulating evidence supports the (disease causing) role of an overactive endocannabinoid system in obesity and metabolic syndrome.”
The research team included scientists from the U.S. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases in Maryland, and Faculty of Medicine at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, which led the research.
“Peripheral cannabinoid-1 receptor blockade restores hypothalamic leptin signaling” was published in the scientific journal Molecular Metabolism in October 2017.