Newborn Lambs' Central Heating System Could Aid Fat Busting In Humans
Published: Apr 15, 2004
The way newborn lambs regulate their temperature in the first few weeks of life using a special deposit of brown fat could give clues for tackling obesity in humans, according to Imperial College London scientists. Unlike normal white fat that stores surplus energy, brown fat generates heat in response to cold or excess caloric intake. While some mammals such as rodents maintain this 'good' fat throughout life, humans are similar to lambs: brown fat is present in the newborn to act as an internal central heating system maintaining body temperature and preventing hypothermia, but rapidly disappears as brown fat is irreversibly replaced by normal white fat.