What is brown adipose tissue?
Brown adipose tissue (BAT), also called brown fat, is responsible for non-shivering thermogenesis. It is an endocrine organ that plays a key role in glucose and lipid metabolism by consuming fatty acids and glucose and regulating energy homeostasis.
Having just the right quantity of active BAT is very important for human health. Too little or too much BAT results in metabolic imbalance. Having too little of it can lead to obesity and metabolic diseases such as type 2 diabetes. On the other hand, too much BAT results in increased energy expenditure, leading to cachexia in patients with cancer and chronic diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), chronic kidney disease, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and others.
Today, there are no products or methods approved for non-invasive detection of BAT.
Such a product would enable development of new therapies for obesity and diabetes. It would also enable detection and treatment of cachexia at a very early stage before quality of life and life expectancy of patients are negatively impacted.