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Scientists discover the switch that makes human brown fat burn energy

August 5, 2020

Brown fat burns energy and generates heat — a process called thermogenesis — after being activated by cold temperature or chemical signals. Humans have small deposits of brown fat, and scientists have long hypothesized that finding alternative ways to pharmacologically activate the fat could help improve metabolism.

Scientists have now discovered that beta2-adrenergic receptors (b2-AR) in brown fat cells are responsible for stimulating thermogenesis. According to Dr. Denis Blondin from CRCHUS, the finding could explain why most clinical trials, which have attempted to induce BAT to burn energy, have performed poorly.

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