The Chouchani lab has found in their most recent Nature paper that the anti-obesity properties of thermogenic adipose tissues can be activated by the mitochondrial metabolite succinate. Thermogenic brown and beige adipose tissues can protect against metabolic disease, but require stimulation by external factors to do so. The Chouchani lab found that these tissues selectively accumulate succinate upon activation of thermogenesis, and this is sufficient to activate their anti-obesity activity. Mechanistically, succinate acts as a potent source of reactive oxygen species in these cells, which signal to activate thermogenic proteins. Moreover, this newfound succinate pathway can be activated by dietary supplementation with succinate, which protects against diet-induced obesity in mice.