It’s no secret that exercise can help you decrease fat levels due to creating a calorie deficit which in turn can contribute to weight loss. However, a new study conducted by the University of Florida has found that the hormone irisin released during exercise can help decrease body fat, and more importantly, prevent it from forming.
Irisin appears to work by boosting the activity of genes and a protein that are crucial to turning white fat cells into brown cells, the researchers found. It also significantly increases the amount of energy used by those cells, indicating it has a role in burning fat.
Researchers conducted the study on 28 patients who donated fat cells following breast reduction surgery. They then exposed these cells to irisin and found a nearly fivefold increase in cells that contain a protein known as UCP1 that is crucial to fat burning.
The study also found that irisin suppresses the formation of fat cells. Among the tested fat-tissue samples, irisin reduced the number of mature fat cells by 20 to 60 percent compared with those of a control group. This suggests irisin reduces fat storage in the body by hindering the process that turns undifferentiated stem cells into fat cells while also promoting the stem cells' differentiation into bone-forming cells, the researchers said.
This study is just another tick in the box for the health benefits of exercise (not to mention the fact it makes you more productive, happier and healthier!)