Archive for Jan 2012

01.18.12

Irisin… the “fat-burning” hormone

 You may have seen recent news about a new “fat-burning” hormone called irisin. Exercise seems to stimulate production of the hormone from proteins that regulate metabolism. Once irisin is released, it is thought to help convert white fat into brown fat, which is healthier and burns more calories. Not only this, but it increases glucose sensitivity, which means it can be metabolized more efficiently and possibly help with diabetes. Scientists are now wanting to find out if irisin can be injected into the individual and still produce the same benefits as exercise-induced irisin. In an initial study, mice did seem to reap the benefits of irisin injections without any exercise at all. Although irisin won’t replace exercise completely (it doesn’t have any affect on muscle growth), it may be beneficial for treatment of obesity and diabetes in the future. Check out these two articles for more info: Brown Fat and Irisin.More on fat…

I already mentioned there are two types of fat (brown and white). White fat mainly just stores calories (energy) and sits around, while brown fat actually helps burn calories in the body like other tissues do. It is actually more closely related to muscle cells than the “white” adipose tissue we think of when we think of “fat.” Humans are born with brown fat as a kind of internal thermostat, but this disappears quickly after birth (unfortunately!).

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