‘Brown fat’ may hold key to metabolic problems in older people

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In a new study, researchers at Cornell University found a new way to prevent age-related weight gain.

This could help people avoid obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and chronic inflammation.

They discovered that by stimulating the production of a certain type of fat cell, the effects of a slowing metabolism could be reversed.

Mammals, including humans, have two main types of fat: white adipose tissue (WAT), or white fat, which stores energy from excess calorie intake, and brown adipose tissue (BAT), or brown fat, which burns calories to produce heat to maintain body temperature.

But researchers found a third type of fat called beige fat, which is a subtype of WAT. Beige fat has the same cellular precursors as white fat and the same thermogenic properties as brown fat.

Beige fat helps reduce blood sugar and the fatty acids that cause the hardening of the arteries and heart disease.

When a person is exposed to cold temperatures for a sustained period, stem cells called adipose progenitor cells form thermogenic beige fat cells within white fat.

However, as people age, the response to that stimulus weakens, tipping the balance toward white fat production.

The team observed that the aging process impairs the formation of beige fat cells in response to cold temperatures.

They wanted to identify the biochemistry behind the slowdown and find a way to reverse the process to achieve therapeutic outcomes.

In the new study, researchers found the role of a specific signaling pathway that suppresses beige fat formation in older mice by antagonizing the immune system.

By suppressing that pathway in aging mice, the scientists were able to prompt beige fat production in animals that otherwise formed only in WAT.

This suggests a therapeutic promise in stimulating beige fat cells to reduce blood sugar and the fatty acids that cause the hardening of the arteries and heart disease.

The ultimate goal is to find metabolic pathways that can produce the same effect as cold exposure without having to subject people to cold temperatures for prolonged periods of time.

In conclusion, this study provides hope for a new way to prevent age-related weight gain and associated health disorders.

By understanding the biochemistry behind the aging process, researchers can reverse it to achieve therapeutic outcomes.

If they can stimulate the production of beige fat cells, they may be able to reduce the risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and chronic inflammation.

How to protect metabolic health

Maintaining metabolic health is important for overall well-being and can help reduce the risk of chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. Here are some tips on how to protect metabolic health:

Eat a balanced diet: Consuming a diet that is balanced in nutrients, including carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, can help maintain metabolic health.

Limit added sugars and processed foods: Added sugars and processed foods can cause spikes in blood sugar levels and harm metabolic health.

Exercise regularly: Exercise can help improve insulin sensitivity, which is important for maintaining metabolic health.

Get enough sleep: Lack of sleep can disrupt metabolic function, so getting enough quality sleep is important.

Stay hydrated: Drinking enough water can help regulate metabolic function.

Reduce stress: Chronic stress can harm metabolic health, so finding ways to manage stress, such as through exercise or meditation, can be helpful.

Avoid smoking and excessive alcohol consumption: Both smoking and excessive alcohol consumption can harm metabolic health.

Consider fasting: Intermittent fasting, which involves alternating periods of eating and fasting, has been shown to improve metabolic health in some studies.

By following these tips, you can help protect your metabolic health and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.

If you care about weight loss, please read studies about diabetes drug that can help you lose weight regardless of age, and this diet could boost weight loss and protect heart.

For more information about diabetes, please see recent studies about warnings about promising diabetes drug metformin, and results showing your gut holds the key to treating type 2 diabetes.

The study was conducted by Abigail M. Benvie et al and published in Nature Communications.

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