Transforming White Fat Into Brown Might Help Fight Diabetes
08 Aug, 2012 - 10:54am
Since the population of obese people and the number of type II diabetes patients have increased, finding ways to treat these diseases have been a challenge of researchers, doctors and patients as well. One of the latest discoveries which might be efficient in treating these illnesses is transforming white fat into brown fat. This process has become an enticing manner to treat these diseases because we no longer look too far, we only have to make use of our own body fat tissues to be well again.
Developing a new strategy to effectively treat type II diabetes and obesity has been the new quest for the researchers from Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC). They have identified a method in transforming energy-storing white fat into energy-burning brown fat.
We (human beings) have two kinds of fat tissue; the first one is the white fat, which is responsible in storing excess energy as triglycerides. The second one is the brown fat, which is responsible in dissipating stored energy in the form of heat. The existence of brown fat is very abundant in newborns, which is essential in protecting them from the cold temperature; however, for adults this kind of fat tissue is low and this is the reason why a research has been made in order to help adults with type II diabetes and obesity issues create more brown fat in order to increase their body’s insulin sensitivity.
To be able to create brown fat from white fat thiazolidazines or TZDs will be used, they are a class of drugs. But these drugs have various adverse effects. These effects have caused the limited use of these drugs.
In order to develop a safer way to treat obesity and type 2 diabetes, researchers have studied sirtuins, this is a certain group of enzymes which affects human’s biological processes. This group of enzymes is known to be responsible in increasing the metabolic activity of the body. To enable the browning of white fat, sirtuins will create a process called deacetylation where the chemical bonds between proteins and acetyl groups are being separated. Improving the metabolic activity of obese people and type II diabetes patients’ bodies will help them fight their illness effectively since increased metabolism creates more heat, which is equivalent to brown fat.
This study have helped researchers come to a conclusion that using TZDs may not be that bad if its activity has been tweaked and a way to tweak TZDs activities is by using sirtuin agonists, which are proven to be effective in causing white fat to turn brown. The best way to create an efficient activity for sirtuins is through the deacetylation of ppar-gamma. This means that if a substance deacetylates ppar-gamma it will cause the promotion of white fat turning into brown, which in turn creates a metabolic effect in the patient’s body.