Scientists Use MRI Technology to Find “Brown Fat”

In an effort to create new treatments for obesity and diabetes, scientists have identified “brown fat” using MRI technology. Brown fat has become a key target for researchers due to its ability to burn calories, as opposed to white fat which is linked to weight gain. Although the area of research is still in its infancy, it’s worth pursuing since brown fat has the ability to eat up fat and can decrease obesity.

Researchers from Warwick Medical School and University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust were able to identify the tissue, which showed up as green in MRI scans. Understanding brown fat and how it can be used is of growing interest to scientists trying to help those who are at high risk for developing potentially serious illnesses as a result of their weight.

The ability to find brown fat using MRI technology is of great importance – there is now potential for scientists to develop safe and effective ways of activating the brown fat to promote weight loss and increase energy. Although more data is needed at this time, the ability of brown fat to be discovered via MRI technology could prove to be vital in the creation of future obesity and weight gain therapies.

In Scotland, where the discovery took place, one in four adults is considered obese – along with 14 percent of girls and 20 percent of boys. The country has one of the highest rates of obesity in the world. Currently in the United States, approximately 35% of the population is obese. 

If you're interested in learning more about MRI technology, consider joining CNI College's MRI Technology Program