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Leptin and the Biologic Basis of Obesity
Wednesday, October 11, 2006,
3:00:00 PM Time displayed is Eastern Time, Washington DC Local
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The assimilation, storage, and utilization of nutrient energy constitute a homeostatic system essential for life. In vertebrates, particularly land dwelling mammals, the ability to store quantities of energy-dense triglyceride (fat) in adipose tissue permits survival during times when food is unavailable. Adipose tissue can be thought of as a calorie bank into which energy is deposited in times of plenty so that it can serve as a source of energy when food becomes scarce. Excessive leanness is thus associated with an increased risk of starvation and is maladaptive. However, the presence of excess adipose tissue is also maladaptive as obese organisms are more susceptible to predation and less effective at hunting.