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What Is Brown Fat and Why Should You Care
Have you noticed that there are different types of fats in our body and each one has different properties? White fat, which stretches your pants to their limit and spreads over your waistline, stores energy. No surprise there. You also have some brown fat, the color of which comes from its iron content. Brown fat also contains more mitochondria, known as the “powerhouse of the cell.” You can think of them as the “engines” in brown fat that burn calories and generate heat.
While white fat becomes a kind of insulation, brown fat is active. Babies are rich in brown fat. Most adults have varying amounts but not much. Lean people are more likely than overweight people, but it is not known whether this is genetic.
According to one study, 15 minutes in the cold can have the metabolic equivalent of an hour of exercise. Researchers, in this study, observed healthy men and women while exercising in a 65°F laboratory. Later, the same study participants slept in bed as the temperature dropped to 53°F. In both of these tests, these people’s muscles contracted (they were shaking!), releasing the hormone irisin, which is produced in skeletal muscle. This hormone increases body heat and creates brown fat cells from existing white fat cells.
This finding puzzled the researchers. They hypothesized that the ancient biological survival mechanism of cold shivering helps us maintain our core temperature, preventing hypothermia, perhaps by stimulating the release of irisin. They designed tests to determine whether shivering, rather than exercise, was the primary driver of irisin secretion. Irisin is produced by muscle contraction. So whether it’s exercise or shivering, it doesn’t matter. Once it is produced, it turns white fat cells from the blood into brown cells.
What’s encouraging about this information is that the researchers found that even small changes in temperature can activate the response to cold exposure. In this study they showed that lowering the thermostat from 74°F to 68°F was enough to cause a measurable increase in energy expenditure. Thirty seconds of cold water on your back and neck after a hot shower, unless you have heart problems, is an easy way to accomplish this.
Or maybe just continue to be active and exercise, turn your thermostat down a bit and get out for a walk (dressed appropriately, of course) every day in the cold weather to take advantage of the cool air and get some sunshine. good
Another study found that curcumin, the active compound in turmeric, was able to induce browning of white fat cells. In addition to its anti-inflammatory properties, this research suggests that curcumin appears to be an anti-obesity agent due to its ability to support brown fat as well as reduce inflammation involved in obesity as well as diabetes and heart disease. This is a great discovery.
There are many ways you can add turmeric to your meals as well as take it in supplement form or drink it as a tea, which can reap many benefits, including stimulating brown fat.
Here are some simple ways to activate your fat-burning brown fat. Choose the method that is right for you and reap these health benefits in the process.
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