A new study from researchers at University of Health Florida has revealed that exercise does more than help the body burn fat; it also may prevent excess fat from forming again in the future.

In the new study, a team of researchers led by Jun Yang, M.D. collected fat cells donated by 28 patients who had breast reduction surgery, and exposed the samples to irisin, a hormone produced by exercise that surges when the heart and other muscles are exerted. Researchers found that the hormone inhibited the formation of fatty tissue, Science Daily reported.

"We used human fat tissue cultures to prove that irisin has a positive effect by turning white fat into brown fat and that it increases the body's fat-burning ability," Yang said, according to Science Daily.

After exposing the samples to irisin, researchers also learned that mature fat cells increased by 20 to 60 percent, compared with those of a control group. The team also found that the hormone suppresses fat-cell formation.

According to Yang, because the body produces small quantities of irisin, regular exercise becomes that much more important for fat-burning and overall health. The hormone could also be an ideal way to fight obesity and diabetes

"Instead of waiting for a miracle drug, you can help yourself by changing your lifestyle. Exercise produces more irisin, which has many beneficial effects including fat reduction, stronger bones and better cardiovascular health," she said.

Currently, more than two-thirds of adults in the U.S. are overweight or obese, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Source: Zhang Y, Xie C, Wang H, Foss RM, Clare M, George EV, et al. Irisin Exerts Dual Effects On Browning And Adipogenesis Of Human White Adipocytes. American Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology And Metabolism. 2016.

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