Researchers discover how to turn energy-storing white fat into energy-burning brown fat

For the first time, researchers have discovered a way to convert the white fat cells that sit in unsightly, energy-storing clumps around our bodies into energy-burning brown fat. If they can figure out how to apply this method to medical treatments, obese patients and those with metabolic issues could be given the ability to increase their energy expenditure without having to adjust their exercise routine.

The team, from the University of Texas in the US, had previously discovered that we all have little deposits of ‘good’ brown fat, and when these are activated, they can increase our metabolic rate and also lower our blood glucose levels. They’ve now figured out how ‘bad’ white fat can be prompted to perform similar roles, but only when the body is subjected to severe, adrenaline-releasing stress – such as burning or freezing – over a long period of time. While this isn’t exactly ideal, by understanding the mechanisms at play here, scientists could one day develop treatments that mimic the effects of prolonged stress to get the same results. Source: Researchers discover how to turn energy-storing white fat into energy-burning brown fat

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