Researchers in Stockholm have discovered a new mechanism that stimulates glucose uptake in brown fat, potentially opening up new methods of curing type 2 diabetes.
Brown fat’s purpose is to generate heat by burning sugar and fat.
The research, which was conducted at Stockholm University in Swede, suggested that there are ways to encourage brown fat to take up large amounts of glucose from the blood. In theory, this could stop the excessive blood sugar build-ups caused by insulin resistance.
Brown fat tissues are stimulated in this way using stress hormones. Professor Tore Bengtsson of Stockholm University’s Department of Molecular Biosciences explained:
“Our study shows that the body’s own stress hormones, epinephrine and norepinephrine, increase the uptake of glucose in brown fat. Epinephrine and norepinephrine can affect almost all our bodily organs by binding to receptors on the surface of a cell.”
In addition, the researchers discovered how adrenergic receptors, which are found on brown fat, stimulate glucose uptake..
The research is being developed by experimenting with glucose homeostasis in rodents. If they can successfully encourage brown fat tissues to increase glucose uptake, it may be possible to create an effective treatment for obesity and type 2 diabetes.
There are 382 million cases of diabetes, around 90 per cent of which are type 2. It is often associated with obesity and poor lifestyle. Changing one’s diet and increasing physical activity are the most common forms of treatment, although additional medication is often necessary to bring blood glucose levels under control.

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