Monday, November 09, 2009

Study Identifies Protein that Produces ‘Good’ Fat

Most people don't know there are actually two types of fat, white and brown. White fat is the notorious storage tissue most of wish we had less of. And then there's brown fat. The role of brown fat is to expend energy, thus burning fat! The bad news is that most adults no longer have brown fat. The good news is that the precursor to brown fat is still there and can be stimulated by a bone-inducing protein called BMP-7. BMP-7 drives precursor cells that give rise to mature brown fat cells.

According to the lead scientist on this study, “Diet and exercise are still the best approaches for weight reduction in the general population,” Tseng said. “However, for people who are genetically predisposed to obesity, these approaches may have very little effect.”

“As we learn more about the controls of brown fat development, medical interventions to increase energy expenditure by brown fat inducing agents, such as BMP-7, may provide hope to these individuals in losing weight and preventing the metabolic disorders associated with obesity,” she said.

"BOSTON – Aug. 20, 2008 – A study by researchers at the Joslin Diabetes Center has shown that a protein known for its role in inducing bone growth can also help promote the development of brown fat, a “good” fat that helps in the expenditure of energy and plays a role in fighting obesity."

Joslin Diabetes Center | For the Media

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