In a recent study by a team from Vanderbilt University in Tennessee, USA; has transplanted “good” brown fat from embryos into mice and has cured their type 1 diabetes.
Brown adipose tissue burns energy, upping the body’s resting metabolism, where white adipose tissue stores energy, therefore a high amount of white adipose tissue makes it easy to gain weight.
Type-1 Diabetes is a disease which the pancreas doesn’t produce insulin, which is an important hormone that processes glucose when you eat foods that contain sugar.
Using the brown fat of mouse embryos at a gestational age of 15 to 18 days old, the team recorded mice’s weight and collected blood samples taken shortly after they had eaten every week after the transplant. These mice were compared to a control group of non-diabetic mice and a group of diabetic mice left untreated.
Glucose tolerance tests had been performed before and after the brown fat transplant. 16 mice who received the transplant made a full recover, out of the 30 mice that received a transplant. That’s a 53 % success rate!
The 16 who fully recovered, had a normal glucose level within two weeks of their transplant and remained healthy until they were euthanized, three to nine months later for post-mortem tissue examination.
“Once the success rates of this technique are opti9mized and suitable alternatives to embryonic tissue are established, insulin-independent reversal of diabetes using adipose tissue can become a realistic option,” write the researches in their paper, published in the Journal Endocrinology and Metabolism.
This evidence states that brown fat could be a key weapon in the fight against diabetes!
This started when a US team studied 12 healthy men who had varying proportions of brown fat and noticed those with the most had better sugar control and higher insulin sensitivity.
A second finding in the study, published in Diabetes, was aiming to build on research suggesting white fat cells can be converted to brown by means of exposure to mild cold.
“Of even greater clinical significance may be thje finding that brown fat can help the body regulate blood sugar more effectively,” said Larbos Sidossis of the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. “This is great news for people with insulin resistance and diabetes and suggests that brown fat may prove to be an important anti-diabetic tissue.”