Why do some people gain weight and others do not even though they eat the same kind and amount of the food?
Scientific evidence explains the role of the sympathetic nervous system in the development of obesity and the metabolic syndrome. N. Tentolouris of the Athens University Medical School in Greece suggests that sympathetic nervous system (SNS) activity is associated with both energy balance and the metabolic syndrome. Medications, which stimulate the SNS, also decrease food intake and increase the resting metabolic rate (RMR) and the thermogenic (heat-production) responses. Conversely, a blockage of the sympathetic nevous system exerts the opposite effect. Fat in the internal organs become prone to lipolysis (breakdown of fat) when epinephrine, released from the adrenal gland, combines with certain proteins found in intra-abdominal fat cells. In addition, central fat distribution is associated with disturbances in the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis, suggesting that a disturbed, stress-coping axis may be implicated in the development of the metabolic syndrome.
Dr. F. Kawabata et al. at Kyoto University in Japan conducted a research indicating that one of the ingredients in a non-pungent red pepper can enhance energy expenditure in humans in the same way as pungent red pepper. They investigated the effects of the repeated intake of this particular red pepper for two weeks on body weight and body fat in humans. Changes in the autonomic nervous activity after ingesting the red pepper were also measured. They observed that repeated intake of red pepper reduced the body weight and suppressed body fat accumulation. Moreover, the weight loss due to the repeated intake of red pepper correlated significantly with the increase of the sympathetic nervous response after the ingestion of the red pepper. The scientists proposed that the repeated intake of non-pungent red pepper reduced body weight and suppressed body fat accumulation by stimulating the sympathetic nervous system in humans. That is why those strong professional people, who can not stay still for a minute, never gain weight even though they eat junk food. If a person is very thin due to hyperactive sympathetic nervous system, he/she is not necessarily healthy.