Scientists have made a revolutionary discovery which may help fight obesity in near term. Researchers from Boston succeeded in extracting brown fat out of mouse and human cells.
Brown fat is acting as an energy furnace. The more of this fat you have, the slimmer you tend to be.
Dr. Jacob Warman, chief of endocrinology at The Brooklyn Hospital Center in New York City, explains that Brown fat is necessary for thermogenesis that prevents shivering. This is a healthy fat. It helps to lose weight. Leaner people have more of brown fat.
Dr. Spyros Mezitis, an endocrinologist, says that white fat, on the contrary, plays role in calorie storage and is responsible for obesity. It’s crucial to find out ways to burn it down. Dr. Syros further says that it could provide new treatments opportunities. Today, we don’t have any drugs that could really control weight gain.
Earlier this year, three groups of scientists on different continents independently proved that adult humans have brown fat. Before that, these fat cells were believed to be possessed only by children and rodents. In 2007, scientists discovered that the protein PRDM16 could turn immature cells into brown fat. Now the scientists say they found the protein C/EBP-beta which works together with PRDM16. These proteins collaborate to transform various types of cells into brown fat.
This discovery opens up new opportunities for obesity treatment.
Source of the image: flickr.com/photos/tcatcarson.