Posted by Carlos on Nov 25th 2015
Last week, an amazing research paper was published in Nature Communications.
To put it simply, substance known as LR11 is secreted by brown fat.
LR11, in turn, helps conserve energy, and this is exaggerated in states of obesity.
In other words, LR11 makes it even harder to lose weight once the weight has been gained.
First, what is brown fat?
Brown fat is a form of fat that our body's use to rapidly produce heat. For many years, it was thought that only babies have brown fat.
But, at it turns out, adults also carry brown fat.
Importantly, the lower your Body mass Index, the greater the percentage of brown fat relative to white fat.
So the thinking has been the more brown fat relative to white fat is actually good because brown fat is there to be burned, not to store energy for later (slower) consumption.
Shivering from cold? That's your body burning off brown fat to generate the energy necessary to feel the shivering effect, which is our body's way to heat itself quickly.
Now in the study, the researchers used "knockout mice" to create mice which cannot produce LR11.
What they found is quite interesting:
1. Mice who cannot produce LR11 have better blood sugar levels, lower triglyceride levels, and lower free fatty acids when fed a high fat diet.
2. LR11 was shown to inhibit thermogenesis, or the body's ability to generate heat by burning brown fat.
3. LR11 levels were higher in humans who tended to be older, weigh more, and have higher HbA1c levels.
Blocking LR11 could be a way for us to lose weight. But until somebody invents an LR11 blocker, we still need to resort to gradual changes in diet and exercise if long-term, transforming weight loss is to be achieved.
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