Saturday, June 07, 2014

Cold Weight Loss Benefits Without The Cold

Brr-brr-brr! Scientists have discovered a way to make the body of mice burn calories as if they were exposed to the freezing cold. A potential future treatment for obesity in humans!

White fat to brown fat 

Humans are born with a decent amount of brown fat. Brown fat is the fat best used for insulation from the cold. White fat stores energy, while brown fat is the energy burner--which comes in really handy when you want to lose some weight. Sadly, as we humans get older, brown fat seems to disappear. Ajay Chawla (UC), San Fran, and his team injected obese mice with interleukin-4 (a signalling molecule that turns white fat into brown fat) four times over the course of eight days. And two weeks later...

How much weight did the mice lose? 

After two weeks the mice lost 12% of their body weight, four grams of it was beige fat--And their energy expenditure went up 10% to 20% as well, which just means they will burn more calories throughout the day.

What does this all mean?

There is already a company that is using this research called Ember Therapeutics. In the future, after more tests and research on humans, we may see this being a option for the treatment of obesity and of course type 2 diabetes. And probably people who just want to lose some weight!

And now I leave you with a video about the weight loss benefits of cold for humans. Imagine being able to get these benefits without actually sitting (or exercising) outside in the North Pole.