Studies of ‘good’ fat – Metro US

Studies of ‘good’ fat

Fight fat with fat? The newest obesity theory suggests we may one day be able to do just that.

Scientists until recently believed this good fat, which spurs the body to burn calories to generate body heat, played an important role in keeping infants warm but by adulthood was mostly gone or inactive.

Now three studies — from researchers in Boston, Finland and the Netherlands — show that some good fat remains in adults, affecting metabolism and potentially offering a target to help people shed pounds.

Dr. Francesco Celi, an endocrinology and metabolism researcher at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, said the studies show this fat burns large amounts of energy.

“So it could be used as a target” for a pill that would somehow rev up the fat, he said.

Dr. Louis Aronne, former president of the Obesity Society and a weight control expert at Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York, said the findings are the most conclusive evidence so far of the role of such fat in regulating body temperature and weight.

“I don’t want to use the word ‘exercise-in-a-pill,’ but it’s doing something (that’s) getting rid of calories,” he said, adding that any obesity treatment developed around the fat could be a potential treatment for diabetes as well.

The studies were published in New England Journal of Medicine.

The good fat is actually brownish, while the more predominant bad fat is white or yellow.

Brown fat is stored mostly around the neck and under the collarbone. White fat tends to concentrate around the waistline, where it stores excess energy and releases chemicals that control metabolism and the use of insulin.