Saturday, March 06, 2010

Mother's Milk Turns On The Heat

In newborn mice, at least, mother's milk appears to have some rather immediate and potentially far-reaching metabolic consequences. The milk intake kick-starts the liver to produce a molecule that then turns on heat-generating brown fat.

"A key phenomenon required after birth is to adapt the body to a lower environmental temperature with respect to that experienced when the fetus is inside the mother's womb," said Francesc Villarroya of the University of Barcelona. "We find that a key inducer of heat production in neonates is FGF21, released by the liver in response to the initiation of suckling."...

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