Scientists flip switch on fat cells, discover way to naturally burn more calories

By Around the Web

(Photo by Joe Kovacs)
(Photo by Joe Kovacs)

(STUDY FINDS) — Have you ever wondered why losing weight or maintaining a healthy body weight can be such a challenge? A new study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation may hold some answers. Researchers from UC San Francisco have unveiled the critical role of a protein called KLF15 in regulating fat cells, potentially opening new doors for treating obesity and metabolic diseases.

In a nutshell, the researchers have found a way to switch off this protein within white fat cells. This is the type of fat people carry in abundance, which stores up calories. By switching off KLF15, the white fat turns to beige fat cells, which burns calories.

“A lot of people thought this wasn’t feasible,” says Brian Feldman, MD, PhD, the Walter L. Miller, MD Distinguished Professor in Pediatric Endocrinology, in a university release. “We showed not only that this approach works to turn these white fat cells into beige ones, but also that the bar to doing so isn’t as high as we’d thought.”

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