Has The Holy Grail of Weight Loss Been Discovered?


We’ve all heard of the term “burning fat” at some point or another. Chances are, we’ve probably all tried to do that in an effort to drop a few pounds or even more. If you have, you must have wishes that there was a way to turn up the “burner” to get results quicker.

According to a new study, there might actually be a way to burn fat faster, at least in the future. I sat down with NewsRadio 1080 KRLD to talk more about this new study.

Q:  Has the “holy grail” of weight loss really been uncovered?

The study out the University of Bonn in Germany and used mice, not humans, and uncovered a signal pathway in the metabolism that is capable of increasing the rate at which fat (stored energy) is used or burned. The pathway might be able to do this by converting white fat cells into beige fat cells.

Before breaking down what these results mean, it’s important to keep in mind what fat really is. Fat is stored energy and people become fat because they take in more energy (calories) than what they can use.

Q:  What are white and beige fat cells?

Many don’t realize that there are actually three types of fat cells: white, brown and beige. When people think of fat, they usually think about white fat cells, which store energy and create the layers or rolls of fat.

Brown and beige fat cells are the ones that actually burn off the energy.

Babies have a lot of brown fat cells which help keep them warm. By the tie people are adults, they have lost most of their brown cells and don’t have as many beige either, as compared to the bad white fat cells.

What researchers found were signal paths that contain a “switch” that slows down the formation of the energy-burning brown and beige fat cells. Researchers were able to flip the “switch” off in the mice they studied, and when they did, brown and beige fat cells became more active burning more energy.

Q:  So how could this be mimicked in humans?

Well, that’s the next step, figuring out how to turn white fat cells into beige fat cells.

If this research continues to be successful, it will be a great way to fight obesity-related diseases like diabetes. Results are still a long way off, so for now, stick with a healthy diet and exercise.

About the author

David Winter, MD
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David Winter, MD, is an internal medicine physician on the medical staff at Baylor Scott & White Signature Medicine – Tom Landry.

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Has The Holy Grail of Weight Loss Been Discovered?