In the worldwide fight against obesity and its related health issues, German researchers are focusing on an ally that can be found right inside our own bodies: brown fat. This type of fat serves to heat the body, and also aids the body in burning calories rapidly.
While brown fat is mostly present in babies, as well as animals that do not have the ability to shiver, it has been discovered to be present in human adults, as well, namely in the shoulders, collarbone, neck and spine.
In a new study, researchers at the University of Bonn have found that adenosine, a molecule which the body normally releases during stress, can actually turn white fat – the “normal” fat that accumulates in our bodies – into brown fat. This process could eventually have applications in weight loss.
According to the study’s leader, Professor Alexander Pfeifer of the Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology, “if we are able to activate brown fat cells or to convert white fat cells into brown ones, it might be possible to simply melt excess fat away.”
For their study, the researchers focused on the adenosine receptor A2A, and found that in mice, when it was transferred from white fat cells into brown fat cells, the white fat cells became brown and began to burn calories. They also found similarities between brown fat functionality in mice and humans, as previous studies showed differences between how it behaves in humans and rats.
While much more research has yet to be done, Professor Pfeifer and his team hope that their discovery could someday be applicable in a clinical setting.
As we reported in an earlier article, previous research has found that adults who have more brown fat on their bodies burned more calories than those with less brown fat, when both groups were placed in a chilled room. It has also been discovered that women, as well as normal-to-underweight individuals, have more brown fat.
One more thing: individuals who exercise regularly were found to have more brown fat than those who do not. So, if you get moving on a regular basis, your body may just help you out and enlist brown fat to shed even more of those excess pounds.
-The Alternative Daily