The success of ‘Brown adipose tissue’ transplantation of fat
Bijin Park, South Korea
To lose weight, we have to decrease the amount of food eaten or use more calories than before. Doing a restricted diet and exercise at the same time is the most ideal way, but also the most difficult way. So some people try to lessen food consumption too much or stop eating, but these approaches cause side-effects, such as yo-yo weight loss. In many markets, there are thousands of products that say “I can make you slim,” but there is no scientifically supporting evidence ,or the products have a little effect.
So scientists are studying new ideas to develop more effective and convenient ways to lose weight. Kevin Tharp and his colleagues at California University insisted ‘Brown fat tissue’ can be the way in a thesis about diabetes. This can sound weird, but it is fully supported. In animal fat tissue, there is ‘brown adipose tissue’ that can be changed into heat when consumed and normal ‘white adipose tissue’ that preserves energy in a form of fat that we commonly know.
‘Brown adipose tissue’ is usually abundant shortly after new-born animals because it has to maintain the body temperature of the young animals. The animals that hibernate during winter also hold a large amount of brown adipose tissue in their bodies to protect themselves against freezing to death. It is adipose tissue, but it makes your body consume energy so it brings out weight loss after all.
The researchers made stem cells of experimental rats into cells similar to brown adipose tissue and injected them to the other rats. These cells multiplied and made a lot of brown adipose tissue. The part of the body that has a lot of brown adipose tissue was 0.5C higher in temperature than other parts of the body. As a result, rats in the scientific control group (have more brown adipose tissue) consumed more calories than normal rats.
A is the part injected, B is normal part
(Thermal camera photo by Kevin Tharp and Andreas Stahl)
So, the researchers are expecting that this new study will allow people with diabetes or obesity to control their blood sugar and weight, but it is still a long way off to realize because there can be side effects in inserting stem cells or increasing body temperature over time.