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Pharmacological Activation of Thyroid Hormone Receptors Elicits a Functional Conversion of White to Brown Fat

Although this paper seems to be looking towards use of thryoid-hormone-like substances with an aim of addressed fat-related issues, the very basic facts of changing white fat into brown fat, etc., are interesting.

Pharmacological Activation of Thyroid Hormone Receptors Elicits a Functional Conversion of White to Brown Fat


•TR activation elicits a program of thermogenesis in subcutaneous white adipocytes

•TR-mediated browning coincides with anti-obesogenic and anti-diabetic effects

•TR-agonist-induced browning of white adipocytes is cell autonomous

•TR-mediated browning dissociates activation of WAT from classical BAT


The functional conversion of white adipose tissue (WAT) into a tissue with brown adipose tissue (BAT)-like activity, often referred to as “browning,” represents an intriguing strategy for combating obesity and metabolic disease. We demonstrate that thyroid hormone receptor (TR) activation by a synthetic agonist markedly induces a program of adaptive thermogenesis in subcutaneous WAT that coincides with a restoration of cold tolerance to cold-intolerant mice. Distinct from most other browning agents, pharmacological TR activation dissociates the browning of WAT from activation of classical BAT. TR agonism also induces the browning of white adipocytes in vitro, indicating that TR-mediated browning is cell autonomous. These data establish TR agonists as a class of browning agents, implicate the TRs in the browning of WAT, and suggest a profound pharmacological potential of this action.

The full paper is freely available here:


Description of GC-1 available in this paper:


Which is also interesting in its own right re various substances which might act on thyroid hormone receptors.

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So (if I'm reading this right ) medicating thyroid hormones gives us cold tolerance which helps white fat cells convert to brown and improves obesity and diabetes.

A study carried out on mice and published in "Nature" states iris enzymes trigger conversion of white fat cells to brown.........

.. Irisin acts on white adipose cells in culture and in vivo to stimulate UCP1 expression and a broad program of brown-fat-like development. Irisin is induced with exercise in mice and humans, and mildly increased irisin levels in the blood cause an increase in energy expenditure in mice with no changes in movement or food intake. This results in improvements in obesity and glucose homeostasis. ..

...in other words exercise helps white fat cells convert to brown too.

.. The fact that white fat cells are present in cancer tumors is still an emerging concept. We have shown that not only are they present, but they are also functional and affect tumor growth. Identifying the signals that cause these cells to be recruited to tutors and finding ways to block them might provide a new avenue of cancer treatment ..

A LiveStrong article states ..

.. A NASA scientist told ABC News that's no hyperbole. In studying the effects of temperature on astronauts, he saw people's metabolism boost by 20 percent in environments as mild as 60 degrees. A Joslin researcher told National Public Radio that 3 oz. of brown fat could burn 400 to 500 calories daily/.

Given that white fat cells are not only blamed for obesity and diabetes but cancer, we could all do with a few less.

Interesting second paper showing the huge influence plants & herbs can have on thyroid function.



If I have read it right, it was the thyroid hormone agonist GC-1 rather than the standard thyroid hormones, T4 and/or T3. (It was the moecular diagram and brief discussion of GC-1 that

As I have said before, my worst state of hypothyroidism was mild, but I certainly know how my old tolerance changed. And the changes since getting onto a decebt level of levothyroxine are very obvious to me.

In case it isn't clear, UCP1 (uncoupling protein 1) is one of several substances that cause the local release of heat in non-shivering thermogenesis.


Funny how researchers/medics appear to have gone through various beliefs in the area of BAT. Sometimes denying its existence, at other times suggesting its quantity is infinitesimal, etc.

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UCP1 appears to be only present in BAT so the very people who need it (peeps with lots of WAT) don't have ANY ! ! ..

Yes you're right re GC-1. I only scanned full article so missed it .. Doh...

Lowers cholesterol too ( sobetirome ).

Btw " infinitesimal" meaning tiny ? ? .. . infinite meaning large//limitless. ! .. lol



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