1 August 2014
New research has shed further light on how the various type of adipocytes work inside the human body, sparking hope that a new method could be developed to treat patients suffering from obesity and diabetes.
Adipocytes or fat cells are inherently different in their function and the role they have in metabolism. In the human body, white adipose tissue is the most common as it stores energy, while brown adipocytes utilise available energy to generate heat but are much rarer. In contrast, beige adipocytes appear mixed with brown adipocytes or develop within the white adipose tissue.
Researchers, led by Dr Siegfried Ussar from the Institute for Diabetes and Obesity (IDO) at the Helmholtz Diabetes Center/ Helmholtz Zentrum München, and Professor Carl Ronald Kahn from the Joslin Diabetes Center and Harvard Medical School, have now specifically distinguished between the various adipocytes.
In order to battle the growing number of obese people, modern medicine is trying to seek new ways of enhancing energy expenditure to reduce body weight. With its ability to burn large quantities of energy, activation of brown adipose tissue with drugs is an attractive option for treating obesity.
Posted by Jeanette Royston
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