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Sympathetic Nervous System Activity is Linked To Dietary Weight Loss In Obese People

December 5, 2011: 12:00 AM EST
Australian researchers who examined 42 overweight and obese people who cut their daily caloric intake by 30 percent for 12 weeks found that those who lost the most weight had significantly higher resting nerve activity compared to those who experienced weight loss resistance. The study showed for the first time that resting muscle sympathetic nerve activity (MSNA) measured by microneurographyis is a significant independent predictor of weight loss. Microneurographyis involves the insertion of metal microelectrodes into bundles of nerve fibers. The researchers said their findings suggest a significant contribution of subconscious nervous system activity to the success of dietary weight loss and may help in developing weight loss treatments through stimulating this specific nervous activity.
Nora E. Straznicky et al., "Baseline Sympathetic Nervous System Activity Predicts Dietary Weight Loss in Obese Metabolic Syndrome Subjects", Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, December 05, 2011, © The Endocrine Society
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