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Brown fat cells may provide way to fight obesity

Posted on Aug 03, 2009
Attorney Ronald E. Johnson of Schachter & Hendy concentrates on legal issues surrounding children's injuries.

New research shows a discovery of how the body creates brown fat, the cells that burn white fat and turn it into body heat, and this discovery may provide a new approach to treating obesity, according to The New York Times.

The research was led by Bruce M. Spiegelman of Harvard Medical School, and will be published in the journal Nature, said the article. The researchers studied brown fat cells, that help the body burn off white cells that store fat, and babies have a lot of brown fat to help them keep warm, said The Times.

After researchers found some brown fat tissue still in adults, they began to wonder if the cells could be made to be more active to help fight obesity, said the article. When researchers worked on reverting brown fat cells, they turned into muscle cells, according to experiments by Dr. Spiegelman, said the Times.

According to the Times, Dr. Spiegelman said further research with this protein may provide a way to produce a useful drug for converting skin cells into brown fat cells. This kind of cell therapy, if it is developed, would be combined with lifestyle changes and other interventions to prevent obesity, said the article.

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