About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Fresh Insights into Brown Fat

by Colleen Fleiss on June 4, 2018 at 1:57 AM
Font : A-A+

Fresh Insights into Brown Fat

Fat molecule cardiolipin functions like an "on-off switch" for the activity of our brown fat, a new study conducted at the University of Copenhagen shows. Brown fat is a fascinating and unique type of fat tissue that actually burns calories rather than stores them.

Switching off production of cardiolipin in mice leads to insulin resistance, which is the cornerstone of diabetes, says Associate Professor Zach Gerhart-Hines from the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research and senior author of the study.

Advertisement


Burn More Calories

A brown fat cell functions as a microscopic biological furnace that warms the body. The study, which has just been published in the scientific journal, Cell Metabolism, started out by examining what happens in the fat cells of mice that are exposed to cold temperature, where brown fat is pushed to burn energy at full throttle. The researchers found that the mitochondria produced a lot of the molecule, cardiolipin. However, in order to understand how this could affect energy balance and health, they had to develop new tools.
Advertisement

- We generated mouse models in which we could switch off cardiolipin production in brown fat. After decreasing cardiolipin levels, the mice became insulin resistant and thus provided a clear link to diabetes. What really surprised us was that when we turned up the production of cardiolipin in both mouse and human fat cells, we increased the amount of calories the fat cells were able to burn, Zach Gerhart-Hines explains.

Conclusions Supported by Human Genetics and Diabetic Patients

The researchers further uncovered promising evidence that strongly suggests the scientific findings are relevant to humans.

When the researchers investigated the genetics of metabolic disease, they found that people with a gene mutation linked to low cardiolipin production have a higher risk of being overweight and developing type 2 diabetes than others.

The researchers also examined the levels of the enzyme that makes cardiolipin in fat cells from healthy and diabetic patients. They found that fat cells from healthy, insulin-sensitive people had significantly more cardiolipin-producing enzyme.

"We're excited that what we find in the petri dish and animal models seems to also be true in humans. This could open up new approaches to improve metabolic health by finding ways to boost the amount of cardiolipin in the body's fat cells, says Elahu Sustarsic, the postdoctoral researcher at the University of Copenhagen who led the studies.

Boosting Brown Fat Power in the Future

This work has revealed for the first time that a single fat molecule in the powerhouse of fat cells can have a profound influence on the health of the whole body. The researchers now hope to uncover ways to boost cardiolipin in fat cells to increase insulin sensitivity and combat metabolic disease.

The highly collaborative effort is the result of several research groups' cross-disciplinary exploration of the brown fat cells' production of cardiolipin. Researchers from Harvard Medical School in the US, the Helmholtz Diabetes Center in Germany, and several Danish institutions including the University of Southern Denmark and University of Copenhagen have contributed to the project.

Source: Eurekalert
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Advertisement
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Top 7 Benefits of Good Oral Hygiene
Healthy and Safer Thanksgiving 2021
Long-Term Glycemic Control - A Better Measure of COVID-19 Severity
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Cholesterol Diet Lifestyle and Heart Disease Cholesterol - The Enigma Chemical Liposuction Quiz on Weight Loss Brown Fat to Fight Flab Diet and Nutrition Tips for Athletes Nutrition IQ Top Diet Foods that Make you Fat 

Recommended Reading
Brown Fat to Fight Flab
Around 50 grams of white fat stores 300 kilocalories. In contrast the same amount of brown fat ......
Diabetes Risk Assessment Calculator
Almost one-third of the people are unaware of the risk factors of diabetes. Find out if you run the ...
How to Lose Weight?
Slide show which explains obesity causes and tips on how to lose weight. Exercising before ......
Quiz on Obesity
"We are indeed much more than what we eat, but what we eat can nevertheless help ......
Cholesterol
Cholesterol is produced by the body (liver) and is essential for normal body ......
Cholesterol - The Enigma Chemical
The word 'Cholesterol' rings danger bells as soon as it is mentioned. This important chemical is im...
Diet and Nutrition Tips for Athletes
Athletes can be physically fit by consuming a well balanced nutritious diet, which keeps them mental...
Liposuction
Liposuction is a cosmetic procedure, which is used to suck out the excess or abnormal fat deposition...
Top Diet Foods that Make you Fat
Every nutrition fad comes with its share of diet foods. While they seem healthy, many diet foods pro...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use