Columbia University Medical Center Study Finds Mechanism That Turns White Fat Into Energy-Burning Brown Fat
Published: Aug 03, 2012
Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) researchers have identified a mechanism that can give energy-storing white fat some of the beneficial characteristics of energy-burning brown fat. The findings, based on studies of mice and of human fat tissue, could lead to new strategies for treating obesity and type 2 diabetes. The study was published today in the online edition of the journal Cell. Humans have two types of fat tissue: white fat, which stores excess energy in the form of triglycerides, and brown fat, which is highly efficient at dissipating stored energy as heat. Newborns have a relative abundance of brown fat, as protection against exposure to cold temperatures. In adults, however, almost all excess energy is stored as white fat.