Fat peo­ple to be cured with their own fat

Sci­en­tists have found out how to con­vert white fat into brown – and so how to make your fat con­sume it­self.

Science Illustrated - - SCIENCE UPDATE -

MEDICINE

An ef­fi­cient diet that does not in­volve nei­ther eat­ing less nor any train­ing – that could be the re­sult of a new con­cept de­vel­oped by sci­en­tists from the NYU Winthrop Hos­pi­tal in the US. The idea is to ex­tract a small por­tion of white fat from the body, cut it to small pieces, and place it in a biore­ac­tor, where it is con­verted into brown fat, which con­verts en­ergy de­posits into heat. The fat tis­sue is in­jected back into the pa­tient, where it will burn en­ergy, so the pa­tient loses weight.

The sci­en­tists’ new in­ven­tion is a biore­ac­tor that sub­jects white fat to a chem­i­cal bath in­clud­ing a speial mix of growth fac­tors and chem­i­cal com­pounds, which stim­u­late the brown­ing process. The de­vice takes 1­3 weeks to con­vert white fat into brown. This means that the fat cells change their struc­ture and get more mi­to­chon­dria, the power sta­tions of cells. The func­tion of the brown fat in the body is best known from ba­bies, whose bod­ies it keeps warm, but adults also have a lit­tle of it. Brown fat is very ac­tive and burns large quan­ti­ties of en­ergy. Only 50­70 g is suf­fi­cient to man­age 20 % of the body’s en­ergy con­ver­sion. The sci­en­tists have tested the method on mice and with hu­man cells out­side the body. They aim to develop a sim­ple biore­ac­tor for doc­tors and clin­ics.

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