New tool developed to trace brown fat

Last Updated: Thursday, July 19, 2012 - 19:27

London: Scientists have enlisted a pioneering new tool which uses thermal imaging to spot brown fat - the body`s good fat - to fight obesity.

Brown fat plays a vital role in quickly burning away the calories and produces 300 times more heat than any other tissue in the body.

It means that the more of it we have, the less likely we are to store excess energy or food as harmful fat.

Michael Symonds, professor of developmental physiology at the University of Nottingham, who led the study, said: "This completely non-invasive technique could play a crucial role in our fight against obesity," the Journal of Paediatrics reports.

"Potentially, we could add a thermogenic index to food labels to show whether that product would increase or decrease heat production within brown fat. In other words, whether it would speed up or slow down the amount of calories we burn," added Symonds, according to a Nottingham statement.

Helen Budge, clinical associate professor in neonatology at Nottingham, who worked with Symonds, said: "Babies have a larger amount of brown fat which they use up to keep warm soon after birth making our study`s finding that this healthy fat can also generate heat in childhood and adolescence very exciting."


First Published: Thursday, July 19, 2012 - 19:27

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