The solution to obesity could’ve been hiding in our white fat cells all along. For the first time, researchers in the US have identified a new type of fat cell in humans that can convert unhealthy white fat into healthy brown fat.
Now known as ‘beige’ fat, these cells are located within person’s white fat, which in high amounts has been directly linked to diabetes and obesity. When stimulated by some kind of stress, such as chronic cold exposure, this beige fat converts the white fat cells into brown fat cells. This is great for a person’s health, because brown fat generates heat by burning energy, and is actually more closely related to healthy skeletal muscle than it is to white fat.
“This finding brings us another step closer to the goal of our laboratory, which is engineering fat cells to fight obesity,” said one the team, biologist Shingo Kajimura from the University of California, San Francisco, in a press release. “We are trying to learn how to convert white fat into brown fat, and until now, it had not been demonstrated that this recruitable form of brown fat is actually present in humans.” Via Scientists discover new type of fat cell that converts bad fat to good fat