Is Fat the Secret to Staying Slim?


According to a team of researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, the answer just might be yes! The team reported the recent discovery of a new protein that could transform some of your existing fat cells into fat burning factories known as brown fat cells.


Brown fat is found in mammals that hibernate, babies and in some adults. In order to understand the process at work here, it is important to understand the way your body uses fat cells normally. Fat cells store excess energy (calories) that you eat until your body needs them. At that point, your body normally converts the stored fat into a chemical called ATP, which your body readily uses as energy.


Compare that with brown fat, which isn’t used to store energy but rather to use it. Instead of transforming the calories into ATP, it uses the energy to generate heat, which explains why hibernating mammals and babies have these heat-generating brown fat cells—hibernating mammals need to generate heat (not energy) while they hibernate, and babies lose heat very quickly.


Until recently, it was thought that as adults, we held onto a small amount of brown fat from our days as infants in a few deposits throughout the body, but we couldn’t make new cells. That’s why there’s so much interest in the discovery of this new protein: It means that we now know that the possibility exists to turn normal energy-burning fat cells into energy-using brown fat cells. (Can you imagine being able to forego jumping on the treadmill for an hour to burn a few hundred calories, and instead simply kicking back on the couch and let the brown fat do the work?!)


In the research team’s preliminary studies, the protein successfully turned regular adult fat cells into fat-burning brown fat cells—in mice. That mean's e’re still a long way off from being able to pop a pill and melt the fat away. Till then, if you’re looking for a fat-removal solution, your best bet is looking for a reputable, qualified liposuction doctor.