Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis found a way to convert body’s bad fat into good fat in mice. There are two types of fat in our bodies white fat (bad fat) and brown fat (good fat). In white fat, the fat droplets are larger and give rise to layers of fat which hoard calories and this fat is the source of energy when the body is fasting. In brown fat, the fat droplets are smaller, they burn calories as they contain more mitochondria (powerhouse of a cell) which breaks down the brown fat to produce energy in the form heat. The study was reported and published in the journal Cell Reports.
White fat is found near bellies, hips and thighs, brown fat is found near necks and shoulders.The amount of brown fat is high in newborns and this declines in adulthood. The researchers found that, when the activity of a specific protein, PexRAP in the white fat is blocked, it triggered the white fat to convert to beige fat, which is an intermediate type between brown and white. This beige fat caused the fat cells to heat up and burn calories. As many people in this world are suffering from obesity and diabetes, these findings help to develop more effective treatments for these disorders.
Lead author Irfhan J. Lodhi said, “Our goal is to find a way to treat or prevent obesity, Our research suggests that by targeting a protein in white fat, we can convert bad fat into a type of fat that fights obesity”.