By reducing the actions of a protein called TGF-beta, researchers were able to transform lazy good-for-nothing white fat cells into energy burning brown fat cells.
And thanks to those mitochondria packed brown fat cells, our group of happy lab mice are walking around sporting little mousey six-packs and beach biceps.
And as if that wasn’t enough, the antibodies the scientists used to block the TGF-beta protein are also currently being tested in human trials as a cancer treatment.
Unfortunately….”due to the potential “immune compromising” effect of the antibody used in this experiment, it has not yet been approved for treatment of human obesity or type 2 diabetes.
Cancer YES – Obesity NO.
So, what’s the next step?
The researchers plan to design a more targeted approach to partially transform white fat of mice into the brown fat or muscle-like state without compromising the immune system.
“So many great discoveries are the result of hard work and an openness to being surprised by findings, and to follow where those surprises lead,” said NIDDK Director Griffin P. Rodgers, M.D. “If continuing research supports current findings, this discovery has the potential to improve the treatment of obesity and the prevention of type 2 diabetes”.
Or destroy your immune system.