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New Findings on Brown Fat

Mercola is talking about the difference between brown fat and white fat. It turns out that researchers are trying to make/invent a drug that stimulates a transcription factor (PRDM16) which causes cells that might have become muscle to become brown fat cells, thus shifting the organism's metabolism into "fat-burning mode." This is imagined to be a potential treatment for obesity.

"Researchers at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston said they used a single molecular switch to turn immature muscle cells into brown fat cells in the lab, suggesting that brown fat may be more akin to muscle cells than conventional white fat cells.

A second team from the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston, found a protein important for bone growth helped promote the development of brown fat tissue in mice.


Spiegelman said his team previously found that PRDM16, a kind of genetic switch called a gene transcription factor, appears to regulate the development of brown fat cells.


When Spiegelman's team removed PRDM16 from immature brown fat cells in the lab, something strange happened.

"The dish filled up with muscle," Spiegelman said. "What it means is that muscle cells are precursor cells to brown fat cells."

In a separate finding, a team led by Yu-Hua Tseng of the Joslin Diabetes Center found the protein BMP-7, known for inducing bone growth, can also promote the development of brown fat cells.

When Tseng's team delivered this protein into mice through a virus, the mice made more brown fat tissue."


* 12 percent in 1991
* to 18 percent in 1998
* to 34 percent in 2006


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 13th, 2008 09:53 pm (UTC)
This was very interesting, and so were the comments at the end of Mercola's article. It never ceases to amaze me that some people have blinders on - all one has to do is look around them to see how fat most Americans are!!

Last night Paul and I went out for dinner and there was a party ahead of us, five women and one young man, and I swear - every single one of those women was at least 200 pounds, and three of them closer to 250. The guy was a fatty too, probably around 250. Now if anybody thinks that group is just "stocky" then they really do have blinders on.

The worst part of it all is that they are fat because of greed in our government and corporations. I know that nobody is force fed, but unless people are educated, they believe that stuff they buy at the grocery store is "food".
Sep. 14th, 2008 07:22 pm (UTC)
Yeah....I think it was Mercola who once commented that everything in the aisles of an American grocery store is non-food, that only around the edges do you find actual edibles....

In the end, we are each responsible for our own choices, no matter how much advertising is used to misguide us. I think of it as proof that natural selection is still working among humans.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )



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