The Dadbod, the body with a little chub here and some muffin top there, is the hottest craze on the Internet.
And according to preliminary research done at Washington University in St. Louis, a little extra fat might actually do the brain some good.
Senior author Shin-ichiro Imai and his team studied the connection between fat cells and brains in mice.
Basing experiments on previous research, the team set out to investigate the role of an enzyme called NAMPT in the body.
According to Imai, the team's research shows a little adipose tissue might serve a very important role in regulating the body; it helps to slow the aging process and keeps the brain functioning at a high level.
Researchers bred mice incapable of producing NAMPT from their fat tissues, and they observed drops in both tissue energy levels and, notably, "low fuel levels in the hypothalamus."
In a second experiment, the team studied mice with high levels of NAMPT and noted these subjects led active lifestyles and had plenty of energy.
When the team members injected NMN -- the compound produced by NAMPT -- into low-energy mice, they saw a boost in activity.
The team believes fat tissue's role in regulating the hypothalamus comes from an evolutionary background.
In a press release, Imai explained,
This phenomenon makes sense in the wild. If you can't get food and you just sit around and wait, you won't survive. So the brain, working in conjunction with the fat tissue, has a way to kick in and let you move to survive, even when food is scarce.
Keep in mind, however, this isn't any amount of fat. According to a press release, the team's mice fell at the low end of "overweight" on the body mass index scale.