Cant Stop Yourself From Overeating? Maybe Its In Your Blood.

If you have an insatiable appetite, it may be down to a protein-coding gene called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) which is produced by bone marrow cells and affects the regulation of food intake.

Scientists have been researching this gene looking for ways to help utilise this knowledge in the fight against obesity, diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Unfortunately for overeaters, so far bone marrow transplants which do not contain BDNF have failed to reverse overeating, obesity or insulin resistance.

There is good news for under-eaters and those needing to gain weight though! If you are born lacking the ability to produce blood cells which make BDNF, it may be possible in the future to restore the gene for making blood cells which DO produce BDNF that can normalise appetite and lead to healthy weight gain.


Urabe H, Kojima H, Chan L, Terashima T, Ogawa N, Katagi M, Fujino K, Kumagai A, Kawai H, Asakawa A, Inui A, Yasuda H, Eguchi Y, Oka K, Maegawa H, Kashiwagi A, Kimura H, Haematopoietic Cells Produce BDNF and Regulate Appetite upon Migration to the Hypothalamus, Nature Communications, 2013, 4: 1526.

About the Author

Job Role Sports Nutritionist and Social Media Coordinator Qualifications Bsc Sport and Exercise Science Steph has a competitive athletic background which spans 19 years. As a child she performed with the English Youth Ballet and had performed on the West End stage by the age of 10. Her enthusiasm for sport and fitness continued to grow as she did, encouraging her to learn more about nutrition and training. She began using her knowledge and personal experience to help others when she began coaching at the age of 16. From here, she went on to study Sport and Exercise Science at the University of Essex during which time she also received the Most Promising Newcomer Award from her University to mark her outstanding contribution to sport. During her first year of study she was introduced to partner stunt acrobatics and artistic gymnastics. After one year of dedicating herself to a lifestyle revolving around her sport, she was training with the best team in the UK who are currently ranked fifth in the world. Steph has worked in both the private and public sector coaching children and adults from grassroot to elite level as well as providing them with cutting edge advice on how to reach their goals. Steph has received awards for her choreography and has competed nationally and internationally meaning that she can back up her scientific knowledge with a wealth of experience. As our resident Sports Nutritionist, Steph is here to provide the most current and evidence based fitness, health and nutrition information to help you reach your health and fitness goals.
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