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A new type of skin patch that may reduce body: study

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A new type of skin patch that may reduce body: study
A new type of skin patch that may reduce body: study. wikimedia commons
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Singapore, Dec 29, 2017: Researchers have developed a new type of skin patch that may reduce body fat and obesity by turning energy-storing white fat into energy-burning brown fat. According to the researchers, brown fats are found in babies and they help to keep the baby warm by burning energy. As humans grow older, the amount of brown fat lessens and is replaced with visceral white fats.

“What we aim to develop is a painless patch that everyone could use easily, is unobtrusive and yet affordable. Most importantly, our solution aims to use a person’s own body fats to burn more energy, which is a natural process in babies,” said Chen Peng, professor at Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore.

The new type of skin patch contains hundreds of micro-needles which are loaded with the drug Beta-3 adrenergic receptor agonist or another drug called thyroid hormone T3 triiodothyronine.

When the patch is pressed into the skin for about two minutes, these micro-needles become embedded in the skin and detach from the patch, which can then be removed.

As the needles degrade, the drug molecules then slowly diffuse to the energy-storing white fat underneath the skin layer, turning them into energy-burning brown fats.

Published in the journal Small Methods, this approach could help to address the worldwide obesity problem without resorting to surgical operations or oral medications. In a laboratory experiments conducted by the researchers showed that the patch could suppress weight gain in mice that were fed a high fat diet and reduce their fat mass by over 30 per cent, over a period of four weeks.

“With the embedded micro-needles in the skin of the mice, the surrounding fats started browning in five days, which helped to increase the energy expenditure of the mice, leading to a reduction in body fat gain,” said Xu Chenjie, assistant professor at NTU.

The treated mice also had significantly lower blood cholesterol and fatty acids levels compared to the untreated mice. (IANS)

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Genes Tied to Obesity May Lower Risk of Diabetes

"Meanwhile, some lean or normal weight individuals develop diseases like Type-2 diabetes," Yaghootkar noted

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Diabetes
Poor aerobic fitness can up diabetes, heart disease risk in kids. Pixabay

Certain genetic factors may impact our body in intriguingly paradoxical ways. A team of scientists has identified 14 new genetic variations that were linked with higher Body Mass Index (BMI) but have the potential to lower risk of diabetes, lower blood pressure and lower heart disease risk.

According to researchers, it is because the location — around middle or round the liver — where surplus fat is stored could be genetically determined.

This location is more important than the amount when it comes to insulin resistance and risk of diabetes and other conditions.

“There are some genetic factors that increase obesity, but paradoxically reduce metabolic risk. It is to do with where on the body the fat is stored,” said Brunel Alex Blakemore, Professor at the Brunel University London.

The findings revealed that as they gain weight, people who carry these genetic factors store it safely under the skin, and so have less fat in their major organs such as the liver, pancreas and kidneys.

Diabetes
Representational image. Pixabay

“Directly under the skin is better than around the organs or especially, within the liver,” Blakemore added.

For the study, published in the journal Diabetes, the team examined more than 500,000 people aged between 37 and 73.

They used Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans of these people’s waists to match where they stored extra fat with whether they showed signs of Type-2 diabetes, heart attack and risk of stroke.

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“There are many overweight or obese individuals who do not carry the expected metabolic disease risks associated with higher BMI,” explained Hanieh Yaghootkar from the University of Exeter in Britain.

“Meanwhile, some lean or normal weight individuals develop diseases like Type-2 diabetes,” Yaghootkar noted. (IANS)