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brown fat



Scientists Discover Beige Fat Cells, Could be Key in Fighting Obesity

Everyone knows fat is a bad thing if you have too much of it. But what everyone may not realize is that some types of fat are better than others. Yes, there are multiple kinds of fat. Let’s start with a breakdown:

White fat, or bad fat, stores calories and acts as somewhat of a lame duck, just sitting in the body and not doing anything productive. White fat is predominantly found in obese individuals.

Brown fat, on the other hand, which is present in all humans during infant years and dwindles as we age, has been found to produce heat, burn calories and help control weight. When brown fat is lost in the body, it’s replaced by white fat, and is most often found in people who are active, especially athletes.
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Scientists Turn Bad Fat Into Good Fat

Scientists from the U.S. Johns Hopkins team have managed to turn bad white fat into good brown fat in recent experiments on rodents. This breakthrough could be a huge step in treating obesity if it were able to yield the same results in humans.

Brown fat is present in all humans during the infant years, but disappears as we age. Brown fat has been called the key to burning fat and could be a helpful way to control weight. When brown fat is lost in the body, it is replaced by white fat which has been called “bad fat” because it just sits. In their experiment, scientists were able to suppress an appetite stimulating protein called NPY. Through this suppression, the rodent’s appetite and caloric intake was reduced. This was the case even when they were fed a diet high in fat. An even more interesting development with this experiment was that the rodent’s bad white fat stores turned into good brown fat.


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Fight Fat with Brown Fat

New research has found a type of fat called “brown fat” that may be a key to burning body fat. While we’re familiar with “white fat,” which stores calories and is responsible for the more than 30 percent of Americans who are obese, brown fat does the opposite. It generates heat, which in turn burns calories.

shadow-of-fat-manBrown fat is something we’re born with, and researchers thought we lost over time. However, they are now finding it in adults, according to three studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Where will you find brown fat?
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