Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Brown fat back in the spotlight again as a factor in obesity

 White and  brown fat cells

See the article by Richard Gray in the Telegraph, referring to a type of fat that is metabolically highly active, due to its mitochondria. It's the latter - microscopic subcellular organelles that burn up one's digested food with the aid of oxygen to produce ATP (universal energy currency) and heat.

I entered the thread early on, with a reference to a TV programme from way back that had suggested that brown fat - or the absence thereof- could make the difference between being lean and being obese, even if one was eating the recommended daily intake of calories. So it was a pleasant surprise to find the same programme ("The Fat in the Fire", BBC Horizon, 1979) mentioned by another contributor who had clearly not read all the previous comments!

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