For a number of years, scientists have been studying "brown fat."
Brown fat is a heat-generating type of fat that burnsenergy instead of storing it, and this may have important implications when it comes to weight loss.
Human newborns have a supply of brown fat to keep warm, but by adulthood they lose most of their stores of it.
Brown fat has been located in the neck area, around blood vessels (helping to warm your blood), and "marbled" in with white fat in visceral fat tissue.
In a new study, scientists found that they were able to activate the brown fat still present in adult men by exposing them to cold temperatures.
The men burned more calories when cooled, and lost white fat, the kind that causes obesity.
According to the study's authors1:
"That adult humans possess brown fat is now accepted - but is the brown fat metabolically active? Does human brown fat actually combust fat to release heat?
... Ouellet et al. demonstrate that metabolism in brown fat really is increased when adult humans are exposed to cold.
This boosts the possibility that calorie combustion in brown fat may be of significance for our metabolism and, correspondingly, that the absence of brown fat may increase our proneness to obesity - provided that brown fat becomes activated not only by cold but also through food-related stimuli."
Research has shown that certain groups of people tend to have more brown fat than others, and there are direct correlations between the activation of brown fat and metabolic measures of good health. For example:
- Slender people have more brown fat than obese people do
- Younger people have more brown fat than elderly people, and
- People with normal blood sugar levels have more brown fat than those with high blood sugar
- Brown fat is a heat-generating type of fat thatburns energy instead of storing it, acting more like muscle than fat
- Research has shown that brown fat can be activated to burn more fat by cooling your body
- Studies have also shown that animals convert white fat into brown fat simply by exercising. The conversion is triggered by an enzyme called irisin, which is released by the muscles during exercise. It’s still unclear whether this phenomenon is true for humans as well, but humans do have the same protein
- According to Tim Ferriss, author of The Four-Hour Body, you may be able to increase your fat burning potential by as much as 300 percent simply by adding ice therapy to your dieting strategy. You can do this by placing an ice pack on your upper back and upper chest for 30 minutes a day; drinking about 500 ml of ice water each morning; taking ice cold showers; and/or immersing yourself in an ice bath three times a week
Read the rest of this valuable article at Mercola.com