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Brown Fat Transplants: New Weight Loss Option?

Thursday, 13 December 2012 10:51 AM

It may sound too good to be true, but Boston researchers have found transplanting brown fat — one of two types of body fat that can help burn calories — promotes weight loss. The technique, proven only in laboratory mice so far, could one day offer obese and overweight people a new option for shedding those excess pounds.
Researchers with the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston said their work suggests it may soon be possible for people to receive a brown-fat donation from a lean donor and have it injected into their belly fat to improve their metabolism and help them lose weight.
The technique worked in tests performed on obese mice, according to the Joslin scientists, who detailed their findings in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.
Brown fat is one of two main types of fat in the body. White fat, which builds up when people eat too much and get too little exercise, tends to increase body weight and can lead to significant health problems. But brown fat — also known as brown adipose tissue — is associated with a lower body weight and actually burns calories, raises body temperature, and boosts metabolism. As a result, researchers have been studying brown fat — once believed to disappear in adulthood — for clues to its weight-loss potential.
For the new study, led by Laurie Goodyear at the Joslin Diabetes Center, researchers transplanted brown fat into chubby mice to determine if the technique could treat obesity. The mice were fed either a normal diet or a high-fat diet.
The results showed the brown fat transplants significantly decreased body weight and improved insulin sensitivity and glucose metabolism in the mice. In addition, the transplanted brown fat secreted hormones that regulate metabolic effects throughout the body.
“This study establishes brown fat as an important regulator of metabolism and suggests that this tissue could be an important therapeutic target in the treatment of obesity-related diseases,” the researchers concluded.

© HealthDay

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Researchers have found transplanting brown fat can help burn calories and promote weight loss.
Thursday, 13 December 2012 10:51 AM
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