Researchers at the Joslin Diabetes Center have been researching ways to generate fat loss by stimulating brown fat production.
What? Yep. You read that right. Fat that burns calories.
The primary function of brown fat is to generate body heat.
But more importantly, the main role of brown fat is to burn calories by generating heat.
Sadly, brown fat cells largely disappear by adulthood in humans, but their precursors still remain in the body.
It is these brown fat precursors that the researchers were targeting.
A 2005 Joslin study discovered genes that control the creation of the precursor cells of brown fat.
A 2007 Joslin study found clusters of brown fat cells dispersed between bundles of muscle fibers in an obesity-resistant strain of mice.
This latest study identified BMP-7 as the protein capable of causing the formation and activation of brown fat cells.
Knowing this, the researchers injected the mice with BMP-7.
In one of the experiments, the mice that developed brown fat tissue gained less weight than those that did not.
So what does this all mean?
- The researchers were trying to discover what controls the development of brown fat cells.
- They already knew that BMPs are a group of proteins known to regulate the formation of a baby’s organs during their embryonic development.
- Their current research indicates that BMP-7 (and perhaps other BMPs) can control the fate of brown and white cells.
Brown and white fat cells….Turn one on and the other off.
Turn on ‘calorie burning’ fat and turn off ‘calorie storing’ fat. Now that is exciting.