If you wish to lose weight faster, try to focus on losing brown fat instead of the normal fat, also called white fat. According to a recently done study, brown fat plays an important role in metabolism. Even Rosen, an investigator at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre in Massachusetts, US, said, “If we could manipulate the number or activity of these fat cells, we could force our bodies to burn extra calories”.
An average human body contains two types of fat cells, called white and brown fat. While the white fat serves to store all the extra calories until they are needed by the body, the brown adipocytes burn fat by turning it into heat. Brown fat is the kind that gets turned on by cold temperature and by certain hormones as well as drugs; it generates heat through the actions of a group of genes that are collectively terms as the thermogenic gene expression programme, which is the best known of which encodes gene uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1).
The UCP1 dissipates or wastes energy in the mitochondria of brown fat cells, triggering heat generation as a by-product. Researchers have now demonstrated that the transcription factor IRF4 plays an important role in brown fat’s thermogenic process, regulating energy expenditure as well as cold tolerance.
Rosen noted that with this new discovery of IRF4’s key transcriptional role can help in the identification of new drug targets that directly affect the pathway.
The findings of the study were published in the journal Cell.
Article source: Zeenews
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