A group of researchers from the 'Dana Faber Cancer Institute', in the United States, have identified a type of fat cells, described as beige fat, who have the ability to burn calories, and that are easy to activate, so they could serve as a basis to develop a new treatment of obesity that helps to lose weight to overweight people and curb the epidemic of obesity that extends worldwide.

A type of fat was already known brown fat-, which has the ability to burn calories and decrease the deposits of white fat, a harmful fat associated with overweight. Although it was believed that this fat was only available to babies -which used to maintain their body temperature- in 2009 it was observed that it was also present in adults.

The beige fat develops in white fat deposits - the bad - thanks to the action of a hormone called irisin

However, and according to the authors of the new study, which is described in an article published in the digital edition of the magazine 'Cell', in reality the brown fat of the adult does not exist, and what was found in 2009 is beige fat. In their work they also explain that beige fat develops in white fat deposits - the bad one - thanks to the action of a hormone called irisin.

The researchers compared the genetic profiles of brown fat and beige fat and observed that they were different. In addition, the new adipose tissue presents an additional advantage, since according to the specialists it is possible to induce its activity in a simple way, and this characteristic in which it becomes a relevant finding due to its possibilities of use as a therapy against obesity.

Exposure to cold, and other hormones, in addition to irisin, also cause the appearance of beige fat in white fat deposits and favor the consumption of calories, but the authors of the research consider that irisin, which occurs in the muscles when practicing exercise, can be the key to develop a new slimming drug capable of activating good fat and thus avoid weight gain.

The Cold Truth About Fat (November 2019).