Does Browning of Adipose Tissue By Heart Hormones Promote Weight Loss?

Brown Fat Cells in White Fat Tissue

Brown Fat Cells in White Fat Tissue

A common finding in people with severe heart failure is that they lose weight – often dramatic amounts despite eating as many, if not more, calories than before. In these patients, this “unintentional” weight loss or “cardiac cachexia” is never a good sign – indeed, it is often a sure sign that the end is near.

As discussed in a short review article by Sheila Collins (Orlando, USA) and Marica Bordicchia (Ancona, Italy) published in ADIPOCYTE, suggests that a synergistic action of the sympathetic nervous system together with high levels of natriuretic peptide (a hormone produced in large amounts by failing hearts) may stimulate “browning” of adipose tissue thereby burning a considerable amount of calories to produce weight loss.

Although the interaction between these systems is complex, these findings may point to novel ways of stimulating browning of fat tissue – the Holy Grail to those who see “boosting metabolism” as a way to burn off those extra calories.

Edmonton, AB

ResearchBlogging.orgCollins S, & Bordicchia M (2013). Heart hormones fueling a fire in fat. Adipocyte, 2 (2), 104-8 PMID: 23805407