COLUMBUS -- The Centers for Disease Control predicts 42 percent of Americans will be obese by 2030 and just recently, two new fat fighting diet pills hit the market, but scientists at Ohio State University are working on a revolutionary way to melt belly fat.
That extra weight around your middle is a big risk to your health because that's the fat that's smothering your vital organs and leads to disease, such as Type 2 Diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease.
Most of the fat in your body, called "brown" fat, is used for energy, but the "white" fat in your belly is deadly.
"These fat cells are very different from other fat cells in your body. These are the harmful ones," says David DiSilvestro, an OSU researcher.
Scientists injected the brown energy fat into the white fat, but the immune system destroyed the brown fat cells. So they put it into a capsule to hide it from the immune system.
"It's small enough that it won't allow immune cells to get in and kill the cells inside the capsule but it's large enough to allow proteins and hormones to pass in and out," DiSilvestro says.
And when they do, the white fat begins to burn. So far it works in mice, who've managed to lose 20 percent of visceral fat in 90 days.
Researchers hope to try the injections on obese pets, like cats and dogs, in the coming months. They say it's extremely safe and even reversible. Human tests are still a few years away.
MediaSource contributed to the content of this story.