Brown Fat May Be The Cure For Obesity
If you’re one of the millions of Americans attempting to lose weight and improve their health, you probably aren’t considering whether one form of body fat is preferable to another. But numerous research suggests that your body’s brown fat could be a powerful tool for weight loss.
When you get cold, your body uses brown fat, also known as brown adipose tissue, to assist you in producing heat. Because of this, you typically won’t freeze to death when playing in the snow or walking in a chilly breeze.
Brown fat is unique because it has a higher concentration of mitochondria than white fat. The mitochondria in brown fat serve as the “engines” that burn calories to generate heat. Numerous studies have demonstrated that exposure to cold increases the amount of brown fat in the body, potentially boosting the calories burned.
Can Brown Fat Aid In Weight Loss?
Researchers are very interested in brown fat since it utilizes regular body fat as fuel. This is particularly true if a person is exercising, as studies have shown that physical activity promotes the hormones that drive brown fat to do its job.
White Fat & Brown Fat
Both white and brown fat is present in the majority of people. However, brown fat burns calories, whereas white fat stores calories and energy.
Brown fat is frequently referred to as the “good” fat because it burns calories to produce heat. Brown fat is abundant in infants, but it becomes less prevalent as we age. Adults with relatively higher quantities of brown fat are typically younger, leaner, and have normal blood sugar levels.
But not all white fat is harmful. It stores the calories we require, acts as a cushion to protect our internal organs, and, like brown fat, secretes healthy hormones (more on that below). However, excess white fat, particularly in the abdominal region, might result in medical issues that raise the risk of diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, and other disorders.
Fat & Hormones
White fat and brown fat play a significant role in endocrine function by creating specific hormones that assist regulate glucose, cholesterol, and metabolism, which is far more than merely storing calories and releasing energy.
Studies on many hormones secreted by or interacting closely with fat cells, mainly brown fat, have been extensively conducted recently (mainly on mice). More are currently being conducted (also on humans). Numerous of these hormones are essential for preserving health or producing disease. However, only a tiny portion of the research is shown here.
- In a study of morbidly obese mice from the mid-1990s, researchers discovered the mice didn’t have a hormone called leptin secreted by fat cells. Without leptin to regulate their appetite, the animals were always hungry and grew nearly twice as large as control mice.
- In a 2012 study, it was discovered that the hormones known as cardiac natriuretic peptides enabled mice’s normal energy-storing white fat cells to change into energy-burning brown fat. The mice produced more heart hormones when placed in a cold environment, which increased the brown fat’s ability to burn calories.
- According to a 2016 study, exercise may help people manage their weight and prevent diabetes by increasing the capacity of fat cells to burn calories and raising levels of the hormone irisin created when people exercise. According to research, irisin helps white fat mirror the advantages of brown fat by converting it into brown fat that is more metabolically active.
- In 2018, German and Finnish researchers discovered that brown fat interacts with the gut hormone secretin, which alerts the brain when the body is full during a meal and helps regulate food intake. Essentially, the brain stops feeling hungry when secretin and brown fat collaborate.
The results of ongoing research suggest that hormones and fat tissue may be crucial in efficient weight loss in humans.