'Good fat' could help manage Type 2 diabetes

Brown fat, nicknamed the “good fat” because it warms up the body in cold temperatures, could also be used to manage Type 2 diabetes, according to research. Brown fat absorbs excess sugar in the blood — therefore, if brown fat cells can be activated, blood glucose levels could be controlled without the need for daily insulin injections, a researcher pointed out. By observing cells, the team found that following application of a drug that mimics cold exposure, brown fat produces large amounts of a protein that transports glucose into cells. Closer analysis showed brown fat cells produced 10 times the amount of glucose transporters than insulin. The research could potentially lead to a completely new medicine to treat Type 2 diabetes, offering an alternative to daily insulin injections.

In theory if we can find out how to stimulate brown fat into action, we could use it, not only to manage obesity, but type 2 diabetes too.

Lead researcher Masaaki Sato from the Monash University in Australia