Anti-obesity Compound Turns ‘Bad’ Fat to ‘Good’ Fat

New research suggests that a test chemical added to the diet of mice effectively converted bad “white” fat to metabolism-raising good “brown” fat.

Brown fat raises metabolism, which helps reduce weight.

Published in The FASEB Journal, the research shows that when the chemical, called beta-LGND2, was added to the diet of a test group of mice they became leaner with higher body temperature — indicating higher metabolism.

Researchers at the Department of Medicine and Director of the Center for Cancer Drug Discovery at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center used three groups of mice to test their theory. One group, the control group, was fed a normal diet. The two other groups were fed a high-fat diet to make them obese. Out of the two groups, one had the test component beta-LGND2 added to its diet, which is activated by estrogen receptors.

That group exhibited weight-loss and higher metabolism characteristics.

Thoru Pederson, editor-in-chief of The FASEB Journal, said, “The notion that the fat in our bodies comes in two physiological forms has long been known, but here we have the intriguing prospect of a beneficial pharmacological switch.”