HomeBreaking WLS NewsObesity, Type 2 Diabetes Curbed by Brown Fat gwhqadmin August 18, 2009 Breaking WLS News Obesity drugs generally focus on boosting the body’s metabolism, but few would have suspected that fat can actually help the body burn more calories. A new study shows that “brown” fat can help fight obesity and type 2 diabetes, and these findings may lead to the development of drug-based treatments. We’ve all heard of “good” cholesterol — but “good body fat”? Surely, there is no such thing. Well, good body fat does exist, and it’s actually baby fat — that is, the fat that children have naturally. This healthy fat is also known as “brown fat.” And the good news is that brown fat is a metabolism booster—fighting obesity and type 2 diabetes. Everyone has normal, white fat – the kind that stores up the calories and causes obesity. But brown fat is different – it actually burns off the calories. And when it does, it helps you regulate your body temperature by generating heat. Get the Flash Player to see the wordTube Media Player. Babies are born with brown fat, which lets them adjust their metabolisms to the right level. But brown fat disappears quickly in adults. And that’s a shame, because the more of it you have, the closer to your ideal weight you tend to be. However, there may be a way to get your brown fat back. It involves a protein called PRDM16. Back in 2007, Nature magazine reported on a study that showed PRDM16 could transform adult stem cells into brown fat. Now, researchers at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston have found another protein, C/EBP-beta, that can work together with PRDM16 to trick human skin cells into changing into brown fat. And if scientists can find a way to use this protein cocktail to kick-start the body into making enough energy-burning brown fat to boost metabolism, they could be on track to developing an effective drug-based treatment for obesity. Of course, research on the relationship between these two proteins and the production of brown fat has been largely limited to rats – so far. But since rats have a similar metabolism to us humans, it’s a good bet that what works for them will work for us.