“Beige Fat” Could Hold Key to Age-Related Metabolism Change

New research suggests a strategy to ward off age-related weight gain, which could prevent obesity and associated health disorders like Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and chronic inflammation. By stimulating the production of a certain type of fat cells, the effects of a slowing metabolism could be reversed, according to a new study by researchers in Cornell’s Division of Nutritional Sciences, which is housed in the College of Human Ecology and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Mammals, including humans, have two main types of fat: white adipose tissue (WAT), which stores energy from excess calorie intake, and brown adipose tissue (BAT), which burns calories to produce heat to maintain body temperature. The study, published March 31, 2023 in Nature Communications, shows therapeutic promise in a third type of fat, a subtype of WAT: i.e., beige fat. Beige fat has the same cellular precursors as white fat and the same thermogenic properties as brown fat, which means it helps to reduce blood sugar and the fatty acids that cause hardening of the arteries and heart disease. The open-access article is titled “Age-Dependent Pdgfrβ Signaling Drives Adipocyte Progenitor Dysfunction to Alter the Beige Adipogenic Niche in Male Mice.”
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