What is lipostat?

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Dr. Andrea Pennington, MD
Integrative Medicine
Based on the DNA you inherited from your parents, you have a programmed weight range or set point for how much weight you should carry on your body. The part of the brain that controls this is called the lipostat. The root of the word, lipo, means fat. Stat is short for regulator. So like the thermostat in your home regulates therms, or units of heat (i.e., the temperature), your lipostat regulates the amount of fat you carry. At home, if you set your thermostat to 70 degrees, when it gets too hot the air conditioning comes on to blow the temp back to 70. If it gets too cold, the heat will turn on to bring the room temperature back to 70.

Normally, our lipostat will help regulate our weight by bringing us to the set point that nature intended. You may recall that while growing up or in our 20's it wasn't hard to lose the 5-10 pounds you gained after being on a holiday or from a decrease in activity. Your biological set point helped you out.