It is something that many of us struggle to lose despite working out regularly and eating healthily; the dreaded muffin top.
Yet, scientists now believe that they have found a way to lose your muffin top by turning white fat cells brown.
Professor Alexander Pfeifer from the Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology of the University Hospital Bonn had this to say:
“If we are able to activate brown fat cells or to convert white fat cells into brown ones, it might be possible to simply melt excess fat away.”
How can you turn white fat brown?
In a trial published in the journal ‘Nature’ a new signalling pathway for a molecule called adenosine was discovered after experimenting on mice.
It is this adenosine that helps to activate brown fat cells, a process that typically occurs during stress.
“If adenosine binds to this receptor in brown fat cells, fat burning is significantly stimulated.”
“The brown fat in mice behaves just as in humans.”
Along with this discovery the team of scientists also looked to see if adenosine could help to transform white fat cells into brown fat cells, during a process known as ‘browning’.
Normally the white fat cells would not be burnt by the introduction of adenosine as they lack the A2A receptor, however it was hoped that by transferring the A2A receptor from brown fat cells the white fat cells would go through the process.
Promisingly the white fat cells who had the A2A receptor added started to ‘brown’, which ensured they started to be burnt.
“Through the administration of adenosine-like substances, the mice actually lost weight,’ continued Professor Pfeifer.”
“Our results demonstrate that adenosine-A2A signalling plays an unexpected physiological role in [brown fat] activation and protects mice from diet-induced obesity.”
While this study has some promising early results the scientists have stated that there are still more questions to be answered and any practical application is “still far off.”