Story 2014-11-27 2VAA Plant-Based Compound May Protect Against Weight Gain

Plant-Based Compound May Protect Against Weight Gain

in science on (#2VAA)
lifescience reports that a plant based compound triggers the conversion of white fat into brown fat. The difference between white and brown fat is, that while white fat stores energy, brown fat is used to generate heat to keep the body warm. Consequently mice, when treated with this compound, generated more heat when they were exposed to cold air and therefore burned more calories.

Author Comment: I am skeptical. Articles, which claim some breakthrough regarding obesity, are available a dime a dozen. Usually directly or indirectly some magical compound is mentioned, which if marketed helps for sure... the account of the maker of this compound. Before I'd trust in pharmaceutical solution, I'd like to see an explanation for an effect, which is described here: Not only humans are getting fatter and fatter, but lab animals are too, despite a very controlled dietary plan which often does not change for years.
Reply 6 comments

I knew this a long time ago (Score: 3, Funny)

by on 2014-11-28 00:09 (#2VAB)

I also know of plants that protect from weight gain. They're called vegetables. :p

Re: I knew this a long time ago (Score: 1, Insightful)

by Anonymous Coward on 2014-11-28 00:27 (#2VAC)

Good luck getting people to start taking them!

Re: I knew this a long time ago (Score: 1)

by on 2014-11-28 00:30 (#2VAD)

I eat plenty of veggies... But if I would only eat vegetables, I'd probably starve while eating.

Fork begins (Score: -1, Offtopic)

by Anonymous Coward on 2014-11-28 13:19 (#2VAH)

One secret tip (Score: 1)

by on 2014-11-29 10:47 (#2VC0)

I always think that when I see that now ubiquitous WWW ad: "this one secret tip reduces belly fat." Never clicked on it because it's obviously a scam/ad campaign of some sort, but I half-expect to click on it only to find the secret is: "Eat less and get some exercise, fatass!"

Re: One secret tip (Score: 1)

by on 2014-11-29 12:43 (#2VC8)

I never click an ad. But I am very interested in "fat research"... No, I am not fat. But this being not fat is not my accomplishment. I eat like crazy. My wife has to struggle with her weight and if I ate what she eats, I'd probably have starved years ago.

I think the results in this article may be flawed, but also interesting. The interesting part (for me) is that they give an actual
mechanism. Not just 'this compound burns your fat', but 'this compound turns white fat into brown fat' and brown fat
is burned when it is cold. <--- simplified and ignored that this result was only received with mice. I'd be even more happy,
when there was some hint how or why berberine is doing what it seems to do in mice.

However, with what we know today, such a singular result can never be satisfying. We know by far not enough about the reasons of obesity. Come on... only ignorant people still believe in the simple formula: The fatties are too lazy and eat too much.

Other results hinted that in some people a virus infection may play a role in body weight. Gut bacteria may play a role. Some experiments were able to show weight reduction by a gut bacteria transplant (*yuck*).

But for me the best hint that there are still unknown mechanisms is the weight increase of lab animals.