White fat turned into obesity-fighting beige fat

19 June 2015

A team at Washington State University have managed to find out how white fat can be turned into "obesity-fighting" beige fat.

The study found that berries, grapes and other fruits convert excess white fat into calorie-burning "beige" fat, which could lead to new therapies for preventing and treating obesity.

Their research found that including 12 ounces of fruit per day meant about 40 per cent less weight was gained. It is thought this could be down to resveratrol, a type of antioxidant found in most fruits.

Previous studies have suggested that resveratrol can help prevent obesity but how it did that was unclear. In this latest research, the team showed that an enzyme called AMPK, which regulates the body's energy metabolism, stimulates this transition of white fat into beige fat.

"Polyphenols in fruit, including resveratrol, increase gene expression that enhances the oxidation of dietary fats so the body won't be overloaded," said Professor Min Du. "They convert white fat into beige fat which burns lipids off as heat - helping to keep the body in balance and prevent obesity and metabolic dysfunction."

The study is published in the International Journal of Obesity. 

Posted by Edward Bartel 

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