Scientists say they have found a way to turn body fat into a better type of fat that burns off calories and weight.
Modifying a protein linked to appetite not only reduced the animals' calorie intake and weight, but also transformed their fat composition. "Bad" white fat became "good" brown fat, Cell Metabolism journal reports. Brown fat is abundant in babies, which use it to generate body heat, expending calories at the same time.
The brown fat has this protein called thermogenin, which decreases the proton gradient generated in oxidative phosphorylation by increasing the permeability of the inner mitochondrial membrane, allowing protons that have been pumped into the intermembrane space to return to the mitochondrial matrix producing heat, not ATP.
But as we age our brown fat largely disappears and gets replaced by white fat, which typically sits as a spare tyre around the waist. Experts have reasoned that stimulating the body to make more brown fat rather than white fat could be a helpful way to control weight and prevent obesity and its related health problems like type 2 diabetes.
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