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Stem Cell Applications in Obesity

Updated: Aug 4, 2023

When we think of fat, we typically think of it as a stagnant substance in our bodies that we would rather get rid of than keep. However, fat is more complex than it seems. Firstly, there are two broad categories of fat - white and brown. Brown fat is active fat. It is metabolically active and actually uses energy as opposed to storing energy which is the function of white fat. Obese patients tend to have less brown fat than thinner patients.

Researchers at the Joslin Diabetes Center used this concept to see if they can utilize fat to our advantage. They took a developmental stage white fat cell and did some gene editing. Once transplanted into the body, this gene edited white cell actually induced the body to create more brown fat cells! In mice studies, the mice that received the special cells not only put on less weight but were also more insulin sensitive and able to move glucose into the cell better than the normal mice. This is improtant in the prevention of type 2 diabetes mellitus.

While this research is still in the developmental stages, it shows promise of how stem cell therapy will flourish in the future. Regenerative medicine give us the wonderful option of using our own cells to heal ourselves.

Our family at Hero Medical Center wishes you and your loved ones good health. If you are interested in learning more about stem cells and how they can help you or a family member, sign up for a seminar and browse other articles on our website!

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