Good fat holds key to weight reduction

A NEW understanding of the origins of brown-fat cells - the 'good' kind of fat that burns energy and keeps us warm - may lead to new treatments for obesity, two research teams reported recently.

Researchers at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institution in Boston said they used a single molecular switch to turn immature muscle cells into brown-fat cells in the lab, suggesting that brown fat may be more akin to muscle cells than conventional white fat.

A second team, from the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston, found out that a protein important for bone growth helped promote the development of brown-fat tissue in mice.

Both teams, reporting in the journal Nature, said their new findings lend understanding about the origins of brown fat, which releases energy, compared to conventional white fat, which stores energy.

An obese person has large stores of white fat, and researchers think that if the body can be coaxed into making more calorie-burning brow fat, it may help in weight loss.

Dana-Farber's Bruce Spiegelman said that researchers have been trying to find the genes that turn brown-fat cells on.

They previously found that PRDM16, a kind of genetic switch, appears to regulate the development of brown-cell fats.

His team is now looking for a drug that could chemically stimulate PRDM16 to make more brown-fat cells, which would shift metabolism into more of a fat-burning mode.

Source: Reuters

Author' comment: Good Luck!!


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