Unraveling the Molecular Mechanisms of Fat Burning: A Step Closer to the “Magic Pill” for Obesity


An international team of scientists is one step closer to unraveling the molecular mechanisms at work in adipose tissue. Their results could lead to the development of a treatment that will allow calorie burning to “turn on” effortlessly.

Scientists have discovered a way to burn fat.  It only needs to be


Every day scientists find new ways to fight obesity. When will the “magic pill” for extra kilos appear?

Researchers from the University of East Anglia (UEA), the University of Cambridge, the University of Pennsylvania and the Free University of Brussels for the first time considered the molecular structure of mitochondrial uncoupling protein 1 (thermogenin, UCP1) in such detail that they have an understanding of how it triggers fat burning.


Protein that burns fat

In brown fat (aka “good fat”) cells, UPC1 starts the process of burning calories as heat. It is vital for mammals to protect themselves from the cold and maintain their body temperature. Brown fat is generally considered “healthy” because of its key metabolic function, as opposed to white fat, which is where our bodies store calories. By the way, it is white fat that is responsible for most of the negative health conditions.

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Perhaps in the near future the “magic pill” will still appear!


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A lot of research has focused on finding ways to stimulate brown fat production, or ways to turn white fat into brown fat to burn more calories and fight metabolic disease. The new work is a discovery that reveals the mechanics of fat burning.

What the new study says

The scientists explain that they already knew that UCP1 triggers fat burning in brown fat. However, it must be “enabled”. Previously, to understand how to start this process, scientists lacked detailed information about the molecular composition of UCP1. Despite over 40 years of research, they still didn’t know what UCP1 looked like to understand how it worked.

Using atomic imaging, the scientists were able to drill down into the protein’s molecular structure, identifying “gates” that act as switches to turn calorie burning on or off. With this in mind, scientists believe that there is a way to develop methods to artificially activate UCP1 in order to burn extra calories.

In addition, the authors note that the “activated tissue” can also remove glucose from the blood, which may help control diabetes.

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2023-06-01 10:37:28

#Scientists #protein #break #fat

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