Brown fat, which can regulate metabolism, is also found in adults, not just children and babies as thought earlier. This so called “good fat”, which is considered to be better than white fat, helps in burning calories and using up energy.
These facts have been revealed in a study published in a recent issue of The New England Journal Medicine. The study shows that brown fat exists in adults also and happens to be metabolically active. Senior author of the study, C. Ronald Kahn, who is head of the obesity as well as hormone action section at the Joslin Diabetes Centre in Boston, Massachusetts says that the “fact that there is active brown fat in adult humans means that this is now a new and important target for the treatment of obesity and type 2 diabetes.”
The researchers of the study said that obesity as well as other metabolic disorders could be treated by the stimulation of brown fat growth in order to control weight and improve glucose metabolism as well.
Brown fat, according to the researchers, has a role to play in the regulation of metabolism of body weight. High levels of brown fat help protect against obesity and is in a way linked with aging. Thin and young patients, with normal blood glucose levels had higher brown fat content. Brown fat happened to be more active in cold weather, as it plays an important role in burning energy in order to produce heat.
The researchers had analyzed the database of 1,972 patients who had X-ray (CT) or nuclear (PET) imaging scan during a span of three years for various reasons.