New Fat-Melting Chemical Discovered by Scientists
Adenosine melts "love handles," according to a new study.
Scientists found that adenosine produced by the body helps combat excess body weight by "browning" white fat. This is important because brown fat boosts metabolism by burning energy from food.
"Not all fat is equal," researcher Prof. Alexander Pfeifer from the Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology of the University Hospital Bonn in Germany, said in a news release. White fat, one of the two types of fat found in mammals, stores energy throughout the body and brown fat burns it. Scientists explain that brown fat cells can be compared to a heater that converts excess energy into heat.
"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," Pfeifer explained.
Pfeifer and his team discovered that adenosine, which is usually released during stress, also activates brown fat cells. Researchers noted that the adenosine receptor A2A is essential for triggering the bond between adenosine and brown fat.
"If adenosine binds to this receptor in brown fat cells, fat burning is significantly stimulated," co-researcher Dr. Thorsten Gnad said in a news release.
In the latest study, scientists looked at how brown fat cells removed from humans affected different rodents like rats, hamsters and mice, They found that brown fat in mice reacts similarly to that in humans.
Pfeifer and his team also found that transferring the A2A receptor from brown fat cells to white fat cells "browned" the white fat and started burning energy.
"Through the administration of adenosine-like substances, the mice actually lost weight," Pfeifer said.