Our understanding of fat has changed tremendously in recent years. First, we learned that despite all these high-priced, low-fat snacks, we believe that dietary fat is not the same as body fat (calories – as Jillian Michaels told Organic Authority). Then we learned that there were several types of dietary fats, including “bad” trans fats and “good” polyunsaturated fats (found in avocado, olive oil, and more). But now a new study – the largest of its kind done in humans – has confirmed that dietary fat isn’t the only one that has different types: body fat can also be broken down into good fat and bad fat – and the good could save yours Life.
Body fat is an all too common affliction. While many spend inordinate amounts of time and energy trying to rid their bodies of fat, some adipose tissue is necessary for good health, especially women. Most of the body fat in adults is known as white fat: this is the stubborn kind that most of us believe we could bear to lose a little. But not all fat is white. In contrast to white fat, brown fat is more metabolically active and consists of higher amounts of mitochondria. It helps maintain body temperature by generating heat and, according to Sue Heikkinen, MyNetDiary Registered Nutritionist who has over 20 years of experience providing nutritional counseling and education, “is essential for animals to hibernate”.
And an exciting new study in natural medicine has confirmed the link between brown fat and improved heart and metabolic health.
We have known for some time that brown fat is better for our health than white fat, and we know it is more common in babies than adults. Experts have divided whether we can produce more of this into adulthood, and the evidence for either hypothesis is somewhat scanty. Why? Because brown fat can only be detected with PET scans, which require radiation and can therefore be dangerous. This new study got around that problem by looking at brown fat in people who were already doing these tests as part of routine cancer assessments – and its conclusions were indeed encouraging.
Data from more than 50,000 patients allowed researchers to correlate the presence of brown fat with a lower prevalence of chronic diseases and type 2 diabetes.
“While obesity is generally associated with decreased brown fat function, These obese individuals who maintain their brown fat activity appear to be protected from conditions associated with obesity, ”the researchers write in the study. “This notion supports the potential of brown fat as a therapeutic target beyond weight loss, but as a means to decouple obesity from disease.”
“We are considering the possibility that brown adipose tissue uses more than just glucose and burns calories and may actually be involved in hormonal signaling to other organs,” explains study researcher Paul Cohen.
How To Produce More Mitochondria-Rich Brown Fat
While Heikkinen states that “there is no proven way to permanently increase the brown fat content in humans”, she refers to “short-term studies in humans” that link certain practices with a “affliction effect” of white fat. This, she says, means white fat cells “behave like brown fat,” which could offer health benefits linked to the latter: better metabolic health, easier weight loss, and reduced risk of obesity-related diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.
While science isn’t yet fully clear on how to increase brown fat production, there are three ways you can get started.
1. Cold therapy
One technique that has been linked to increasing brown fat production in some studies is cold therapy.
Cold therapy has been found to stimulate BAT tissues, which helps maintain body temperature. It is believed that cold therapy can increase energy expenditure and improve weight control. While most studies of BAT stimulation have been conducted in rodents, some human studies have shown improvements in glucose metabolism and a reduced incidence of respiratory infections in patients with chronic lung disease.
While cryotherapy chambers may not be the most COVID-friendly endeavor right now, try ending your shower with 60 seconds of cold water (which has the added benefit of doing wonders for your dehydrated hair).
2. Fasting on the second day
Intermittent fasting is all the rage for its anti-inflammatory effects (see our interview with Dr. Will Cole on “Intuitive Fasting”), but some studies also show that fasting on the second day (one of three types of intermittent fasts that I tested and About for Organic Authority) may promote the tanning of white fat in adults and contribute to weight loss.
3. Consume phenols
A number of food components are currently being studied for their effect on the activity of brown fat, according to Heikkinen. These include phenols like capsaicin (found in hot peppers), catechins (found in green tea), and ursolic acids (found in apple peel). Since we already know phenols are good for your health (and green tea’s proven benefits include weight loss and improved metabolic health), there is no harm in including these foods in your diet. Consider cooking with hot chilies, black pepper, and turmeric (the bioavailability of which depends on the compounds in pepper). Don’t peel your organic apples and start the day with a cup of green tea.
While the science of brown fat is still young, experts (including these new study authors) are optimistic about its future – and frankly so are we.
Based on bio-authority
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