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New type of fat that helps in combating obesity discovered


Obesity is considered as one of the most serious health hazards in the world and medical community is busy finding a lasting solution to this menace. While there are several weight loss measures, none of them can be recommended as a sure shot cure for excess weight problems. People become obese owing to several factors and a single method cannot solve various obesity related issues. A number of researches are in progress with the aim to find a cure to this health hazard. In a recent development, Researchers have found a different kind of fat that actually helps in combating obesity.

This new type of fat, named “beige fat ” is made from regular white fat cells. The latter is what gets stored in human body under skin layers. Like the brown fat seen in kids, beige fat has the capability of burning calories instead of gathering and storing them. The leader of the research is Dr Bruce Spiegelman, who is associated with the Harvard Medical School. As per the finding of the study, the beige fat cells are found in human body parts like spine and collarbone in varying amounts.

The new research has also shown that beige fat cells are generated by stem cell precursors that generate usual white fat cells. This is in contrast with brown fat cells that are generated by muscle stem cells. Researchers are of the opinion that the newfound fat cells behave in a hybrid manner, by both burning and storing calories. They are trying to find the right ways to stimulate the energy burning capability of these fat cells, which can pave new way to battle and eliminate obesity.

Dr Spiegelman has also said that when people exercise or take part in strenuous physical activities, muscles release a hormone named irisin which plays a role in transforming regular fat cells to beige fat. However, the study has also found out that muscles can release irisin when the body tissues are exposed to cold climate or place. Dr Spiegelman is of the opinion that beige fat mechanism also gets triggered by changes in body temperature and exercise which is after all a neuromuscular activity. However, he thinks that conversion of whole fat to beige fat cells is not permanent and it is adaptive. The rate of conversion may depend on factors like obesity, age and sex.

Beige fat is different from brown fat which is found in infants in abundance and in adults in small amounts genetically. While both the fat cells have iron and abundance of mitochondria, the difference lies in presence of UCP1. This is a protein compound required for calorie burning and heat generation. This is found in abundance in brown fat cells but beige fat cells have lower amounts of this element.  However, under circumstances, beige cells can generate more amounts of UCP1 driven by secretion of irisin which enhances their calorie burning capability. Incidentally, Spiegelman and his team published the invention of irisin and its properties earlier this year. The findings of the new study have been supported by Yale University Prevention Research Center director Dr. Dazid Katz. He thinks existence of a bridging factor between white and brown fat appears logical.

While the discovery of new fat with calorie burning capability is good news for obese lot, the research still has a long way to go, before a feasible solution for obesity emerges.  Until that time, you may have to resort to existing obesity fighting methods. You can think of tying out hormone based weight loss splays in this context. HCG based weight loss programs may fit your need to combat obesity effectively.

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