How Does Brown Fat Help You Lose Weight?

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Incredible as it may sound, you can actually find a straightforward, trustworthy method to give a boost to your metabolism. You don’t have to spend anything, and it’s over in the blink of an eye to do it; all you have to do is go to your thermostat and press one key.

Humans are warm-blooded. You are human. Therefore, you have to preserve your blood at a temperature that is healthy in order to remain alive. And what keeps your blood and other tissues warm? Burning fuel!

When the weather is frigid, you will require an increased amount of fuel to keep your tissues warm, which translates to consuming more calories than usual. Is there just a little bit of difference, or enough to make a difference in weight reduction? What is the minimum temperature you need to set your thermostat to, and could it make you feel too cold? And what exactly is going on in your body?

Research was done between 2001 and 2016 in order to answer these queries. Here’s a quick summary.

Thermoregulation Is Important

Approximately half of the energy you burn off is used for keeping your core body temperature at a stable 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. It is likely you were aware of this, yet what you likely don’t know is that individuals who are overweight usually have a lower body temperature while they are awake compared to those who are not overweight.

Why is it important? It is possible that an individual’s decrease in body temperature could, over the course of a year, result in an increase of five pounds in weight. No research has been conducted on it, making it difficult to determine the practical significance.

The way in which temperature is regulated nowadays differs significantly from how it was managed in former times. It is unusual to rely solely on your physical strength to stay warm, unless you are participating in a TV program in which you have to perform exercises in the middle of the night while it is chilly. You depend on a large amount of clothing and on heating that comes from a central source. The temperature inside buildings is already fairly warm and appears to be slowly going up over each decade.

More individuals appear to readily increase the temperature in their sleeping quarters. It could be a poor decision since colder air at night may assist the body in drifting off to sleep.

An unexpectedly high amount of energy is used to maintain the temperature of warm-blooded organisms such as humans. A recently completed analysis revealed that obese folks have less internal temperatures while active than those who are non-obese, which could hypothetically affect the body’s weight control. No matter what, indoor heating is everywhere, and the inside temperatures continue to become higher as each decade passes.

Meet Your New Friend, The BAT

When temperatures drop, the body produces warmth by trembling. Shivering can dramatically increase the amount of heat our body produces by up to five times, thus resulting in plenty of calories being burned. That is wonderful, except for the fact that being cold is terrible.

Once you become accustomed to a cold setting, shivering is significantly reduced, but your body still has to burn calories to generate heat. This is known as “non-shivering thermogenesis”. How does this process occur? Through BAT: brown adipose tissue. It is possible that non-shivering thermogenesis can originate from the muscles, but the research results are conflicting.

Rather than storing energy like regular fat does, brown fat is utilized for generating heat. Until roughly 2009, scientists weren’t aware that grown persons still had any considerable amount of brown fat. They were aware that infants possess brown adipose tissue, to maintain the temperature of their immature forms. Mice and other rodents possess brown fat which means that a lot of research had already been done on them. However, since the introduction of PET scanners that can emphasize tissues that involve a great deal of metabolic action (like cancerous cells but also brown fat), research has made considerable progress and brown fat is now frequently the primary target of drugs and supplements developed to help with slimming.

What Is Brown Fat?

It’s likely you’ve seen it happen before, that two people can eat the same food, exercise the same amount and yet appear entirely unlike one another. Studies have found that people have a major variety in how much energy they expend each day, or their basal metabolic rate.

The amount of energy we burn each day, as well as the chances of us becoming obese, are impacted by the extent our brown fat cells are activated, independent of how much we exercise and what our diet consists of.

What Does Brown Fat Do?

Professionals opine that the two main sorts of fatty tissue human beings form and store are white fat and brown fat. Brown fat has numerous advantages, especially since it’s able to consume more energy (calories) to help produce body warmth.

In the course of this, your body’s inner heat rises and this facilitates the cutting down of ‘white fat’ deposits, which is the kind that a lot of us have in excess. Investigations have emerged which indicate that brown fat has the capacity to incinerate five times more calories than other fat depositions in the body.

Infants and toddlers have much greater amounts of brown fat than grown-ups, but grown-ups still retain some brown fat throughout their lifetime. Since babies aren’t able to shiver in order to keep themselves warm, they have a large amount of brown fat to help heat up their body instead.

It has only been within the last twenty years or so that researchers have definitively discovered that brown fat does not completely disappear once an individual reaches adulthood, and is not fully replaced by white fat. In 2009, three independent research teams released works in the New England Journal of Medicine that illustrated that adults still possess brown fat, which proved paramount for the control of body mass.

Brown Fat vs. White Fat

The type of fat most of us try to keep from accumulating is white fat. White fat cells preserve energy in the shape of a single large, oily globule. White fat acts as a thermal insulator for our organs and keeps them at a stable temperature, however it is not as effective at burning calories as brown fat is.

Fat that is light in color is located both under the surface of the skin (known as subcutaneous fat) and around internal organs (which is called visceral fat and is particularly harmful). This excess of calories causes the accumulated fat. White fat has an impact on the development of hormones and one’s appetite, and in healthy, normal-weight individuals, it can represent up to 20 percent of total body mass in men and 25 percent in females.

Brown fat cells feature a higher concentration of mitochondria, as well as tiny, oily droplets that are much tinier than those seen in white fat. Brown fat behaves similarly to muscles in many regards and actually uses the white fat as a source of energy at times. Mitochondria in brown fat, often referred to as the “energy factories” of cells, can produce heat that aids in maintaining the body’s temperature when outside temperatures fluctuate.

Generating body heat requires energy, which means tapping into the body’s extra fat stores for fuel. Brown fat is responsible for the thermoregulation of body temperature without needing the body to shiver, or nonshivering thermogenesis. The release of the hormone norepinephrine serves to inform us when we are too cold, signifying we are endangered and in need of warmth.

What about beige fat? It’s another type of fat worth getting to know. An alternative phrase for white fat cells that have changed into tissue that functions similarly to brown fat is “beige fat”.

In the following section, you’ll discover advice for enhancing your body’s capability to burn both brown and beige fats.

Health Benefits

1. Burns Calories

Brown fat cells are more efficient in calorie burning than other fat cells, which may make it easier for you to lose weight and keep it off. It has been proven that our body does this to maintain a suitable temperature for our environment and make sure we can survive in a cold atmosphere.

Brown adipose tissue (BAT) can help you reduce weight since it prevents one from having a “positive energy balance”, which is when one eats more calories than they can burn off. BAT also contributes to overall energy expenditure.

Food intake is what supplies our energy, whereas major components of energy expenditure come from exercising and the energy used to simply keep us alive in a functioning state (basic metabolic activities). As per the American Diabetes Association, activity of brown fat can also regulate daily energy output and be an efficient treatment for obesity.

2. Decreases Dangerous Fat

Brown fat can decrease the number of white fat cells, potentially reducing the probability of developing chronic illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke and other potential problems associated with aging and obesity.

Research has indicated that raising brown fat in obese or overweight people could potentially lessen the excessive amounts of white fat naturally. Most specialists agree that having the brown fat we once did in our youth is better than accumulating more as we age, in order to gain the most advantages from brown fat.

3. Improves Heart Health

Research has demonstrated that brown fat is advantageous for the cardiovascular system, with the added advantages of controlling both cholesterol and triglyceride amounts naturally. It is thought that brown fat can use triglycerides, taken from the blood, as an energy source (which is positive because high levels of these can result in illness).

4. Stabilizes Blood Sugar

Researchers at Stockholm University proved that brown fat cells have the ability to change how much glucose they take out of the bloodstream to give energy to muscle cells. This could help keep your blood sugar at a consistent level, potentially warding off exhaustion, intense hunger, migraines and uncontrolled snacking.

The most vital aspect of this is it can reduce your chances of getting type 2 diabetes. It is practicable that brown fat can be aroused and be of particular help for individuals who suffer from type 2 diabetes and do not act in response to insulin’s impacts because its signal pathway is distinctive from the signal pathway set off by insulin.

Here is further information that is beneficial: Things that are beneficial for your overall health, for example, like exercising, obeying your appetite signals, and opting for outdoor activities regardless of the time of year, can also expand your reserves of brown fat.

What Brown Fat Can’t Do for You

There’s a caveat here. As usual.

Some people eat more when they get cold. At one experiment, office personnel operating at a temperature of 68°F consumed approximately 100 kcal more, on average, than those working at 79°F. It would be intriguing to conduct a similar experiment in which participants are exposed to colder temperatures (e.g., 65°F) and compare it to those in a room at a typical temperature (72°F).

When the temperature drops to the 60s, eating more can be useful in two ways: In the short-term, digestion releases heat (due to the thermic effect of food); over time, more body fat will build up, providing more energy reserves and improved insulation.

Studies in animals suggest that when a person is cold they are more likely to reach for more tasty or unhealthy comfort foods. The available evidence implies that consuming additional food after being exposed to cold temperatures does not completely negate the positive effects of increased energy intake through brown fat.

Benefits of brown fat can only be realized if you do not consume too much food as a result of being in cold temperatures.

Practical Tips and Takeaways

Some individuals are very sensitive to cold temperatures, while others can endure wearing light clothing even in the chillier months of the year. It is highly recommended that everyone consults with a doctor prior to using cold therapy, particularly those who have difficulty acclimating to cold temperatures (since certain conditions, such as circulation disorders and Raynaud’s disease, may not have been diagnosed).

Elderly individuals should be vigilant, as they are more likely to suffer from hypothermia and blood pressure related issues. Moreover, they tend to have less brown fat.

It should be noted that temperatures of around 65°F are not especially severe. Research has demonstrated that following a period of time, people discovered the moderate cold introduction less difficult and shivered less or not whatsoever. It appears that adults and elderly individuals find it comfortable when temperatures are held at 63-65°F for stretches of up to 8 hours.

Despite numerous investigations, it is not possible to know the influence that cold exposure will have on a particular person. It was found in one research that energy use would be different when exposed to temperatures around 68°F than when exposed to temperatures at 82°F. The change could range from an increase of 12% to a decrease of 5%.

Being in temperatures in the mid-60s (°F) for a long time could cause a person to lose 5-10 pounds per year because their body would generate a form of fat called brown fat to keep them warm. The long-term impact of weight loss is uncertain since the tests that have been conducted have only lasted a few days or weeks.

Engaging in excessive food consumption as a result of being exposed to chilly temperatures can cause an increase in body weight.

Light exposure to chilliness could act as an effortless way to diminish weight, yet cold is not a topic to be taken lightly. Avoid any reckless behavior, like sleeping in the cold wearing only your underwear or passing out in an icy bath.

Turning down the heater can also save you money. If you are not a fan of the cold, don’t worry about leaving the warmth of your own home. It has been suggested that exposure to cold temperatures could bring many advantages, however, it is not believed that simply remaining in a room at a regular temperature can be detrimental. Cold exposure is simply one potential method available for enhancing health.


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