TAIPEI (Taiwan News) - Studies found that turning white fat into brown fat can help people become more lean, and a Taiwanese study recently found that a compound found in red sage root, better known as Dan-sen, can accelerate the "white-to-brown" process.
According the joint study between a Taipei Medical University's research team and Hualien Tzu Chi Hospital's Department of Medical Research, the compound ST32da extracted from red sage root can also help improve fatty liver disease and diabetes.
Dr. Lin Heng of Taipei Medical University explained the process in a statement on Friday that the white fat is the predominant form of fat in the body and exists mostly in the abdomen, thighs, and external organs. The excessive amount of the white fat is believed to instigate an inflammatory reaction and increases risk for diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, in addition to weight gain.
The brown fat, on the other hand, is believed to be able to consume calories from fat and sugars and radiate them away as heat, according to the other study.
The compound ST32da, according to the joint study in Taiwan, is said to activate the body's brown fat cells to speed up weight loss.
In a 16-week test on mice, the body fat percentage of the group fed with the compound was 20 percent lower than the group without the compound. The GPT and GOT levels in the blood, which is associated with the liver disease, dropped by 20 units from 30 U/L, and by 20 units from 60 U/L, respectively, meaning it improved liver function.
Lin warns against the direct consumption of large amounts of red sage root, because the fat-burning compound is only available through a special extraction process; over-consumption of its original form might cause harmful effects to body instead.
"Exercise can also boost Irisin levels to turn white fat into brown fat," he said. "Working out on the regular basis is the most practical way to lose weight."