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Fat cells

— Health & Wellbeing

Fish oil found to convert fat-storing cells into fat-burning cells

Chock-full of vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids, fish has gained quite the reputation for keeping our hearts and brains healthy, but new research suggests it could also play a very active role in weight loss. Japanese scientists have found that fish oil converts fat-storing cells into critical fat-burning cells, which could help battle obesity as these cells decrease later in life.

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— Biology

Scientists pinpoint protein that makes it harder to lose weight the fatter we get

The notion that the more weight people carry, the more difficulty they'll have slimming down isn't a surprising one, but an element of mystery still surrounds the exact mechanism that makes it increasingly difficult to shed that extra baggage. Scientists are now claiming to have zeroed in on a key factor, identifying a protein that stops fat cells from burning energy, a molecule they say could become a key target in treating obesity and other metabolic conditions.

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— Health & Wellbeing

Discovery of fat breakdown trigger opens door for new obesity treatments

While it's known that the brain is responsible for instructing our fat stores to break down and release energy as we need it, scientists haven't yet been able to pin down exactly how this process plays out. Leptin, a hormone produced by our fat cells, travels to the brain to regulate appetite, metabolism and energy, but it hasn't been clear what communication was coming back the other way. New research has now uncovered this missing link for the first time, revealing a set of nerves that connect with fat tissue to stimulate the process in a development that could lead to new types of anti-obesity treatments.

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— Science

Protein that regulates protein production could also control fat levels

Research around how the body's fat levels are regulated and ways in which they might be manipulated has uncovered numerous potential fat switches. The latest is a particular protein that has long been known to regulate protein synthesis and has now been demonstrated to also control fat levels in worms. This has lead researchers at the University of Southern California (USC) to believe that the version found in the human body could provide a new target for fat-fighting pharmaceuticals. Read More
— Health & Wellbeing

Changes in ambient temperature found to influence brown fat levels

The discovery that lowering your body temperature leads to an increase in a certain type of "good" fat might have some ditching the diet books and shedding a layer of clothing instead. A study conducted at the National Institute of Health (NIH) in Washington has demonstrated that changes in ambient temperature affects brown fat levels in humans, pointing to potential treatment options for the weight-wary and sufferers of diabetes. Read More
— Health & Wellbeing

Gold nanoparticles may be used to melt away fat

Liposuction may be a popular method of instant body fat reduction, but it certainly isn't perfect. Patients can experience bruising, there can be lumps that have to be addressed with a second procedure, plus things other than fat cells – such as connective tissue and nerves – can inadvertently also get removed. Two researchers, however, are developing what could be a better form of liposuction, that involves first using injected gold microparticles to melt the fat. Read More
— Medical

Viagra could prove useful in the fight against obesity

Researchers from the University of Bonn have treated mice with Viagra and discovered that the drug converts white fat cells (those unwanted denizens of the belly and similar swollen regions) into beige fat cells. Instead of storing excess energy, these recently discovered beige fat cells burn the energy from ingested food and convert it to heat. Viagra also appears (at least in mice) to decrease the risk of other complications caused by obesity. Read More
— Health & Wellbeing

Capsule of heat-generating cells reduces abdominal fat in mice by 20%

We’ve seen a number of encouraging developments in recent times related to research into turning calorie-storing white fat cells into heat-generating brown fat cells as a potential weapon in the fight against obesity and related diseases, such as diabetes. The latest news comes out of Ohio State University where researchers have reduced the amount of belly fat in mice by 20 percent by injecting a tiny capsule containing brown fat cells into their abdomens. Read More
— Health & Wellbeing

Researchers identifiy mechanism that turns white fat cells to brown

Earlier this year, a team from UC San Francisco reported on the discovery that a class of commonly prescribed type-2 diabetes drugs, called TZDs (thiazolidinediones, such as Actos and Avandia), promoted the conversion of energy-storing white fat cells into energy-burning brown fat cells. Now researchers at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) have identified the mechanism that causes this change to take place, potentially leading to new techniques to treat obesity and type-2 diabetes. Read More
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