In part 1 we learned about the good brown fat, which burns the bad white fat around your waist and belly, when stimulated by low body temperature.
With laser liposuction being one of the most popular cosmetic surgeries, the idea that our body could burn belly fat by itself, without diet or exercise, is very compelling.
Now, white fat functions as an insulator, protecting our body from the cold, but the Catch 22 is, when we have too much white insulating fat, the brown fat does not need to activate and burn calories to heat the body.
For this reason, leaner people tend to have more brown fat than people with more “insulation” (how unfair is that!).
“Cavalry to the rescue”; Two teams of researchers from University of Pennsylvania and Harvard University have both come up with remarkable findings in this field.
One team has found a genetic switch which triggers the development of more good brown fat.
And the other team discovered a special protein which can convert bad white fat cells to good brown fat cells! Wow.
From my days as a physician-researcher at University of Dallas I still have a love for medical research and I will make sure to keep up with this fascinating subject and keep you posted.
Dr. Francis Collins at NIH
William Lagakos, Ph. D. at BuiltLean
Kathleen Doheny at WebMD