Each individual carries white fat cells as well as brown fat cells on the body. White fat stores calories, while brown fat creates a source to burn energy as well as produce heat for the body. The brown fat cells are packed with mitochondria which is more beneficial for the individual.
For many years researchers believed brown fat was only existent in babies. Through evidence revealed in scientific studies, researchers have found adults can also carry brown fat stores, usually in smaller amounts. Further documentation also reveals individuals with lower indexes for body mass hold more brown fats, giving clues to a positive metabolic relationship.
With obesity continuing to rise at alarming rates, researchers are seeking to find ways brown adipose can be used to help heavier individuals to lower their body weight. Here are five interesting facts everyone should know about this healthy type of fat:
1. Individuals who spend time in the colder temperatures activate brown fat stores.
Interestingly, people who spend more time in cooler temperatures help activate the brown fat stores they hold. Even better news is the possibility to increase the amount of brown fat within the body.
According to research by NIH (Nation’l Instit. of Health), the stores of brown fat help to regulate the temperature of the body in a healthy manner. Other researchers abroad have noted brown fat is helpful to babies since they cannot “shiver” to keep the body warm. Therefore, this type of “fat stores” helps keep the blood warm in a natural and healthy way.
2. Brown adipose tissue is found in unreliable locations.
Typically, this healthy fat source is found on the back of the neck as well as near the back of the shoulders. The challenge for scientists comes in that not everyone has the same amount of storage and the location can be unreliable.
One group of researchers from Nation’l Instit. of Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) found a number of younger men in good health who held brown fat stores in the chest region as well as along the spinal column. In other individuals, stores were also found within the abdominal region, which provides an interesting view of the tissue being located in various places.
3. Everyone has some amount of brown fat within the body.
Researchers agree strongly everyone has “stores” of this healthy fat within the body (to some degree). The question arises as to how much the body has and how to increase the growth of this healthy fat store within each individual. More healthy fat stores will bring more health benefits overall.
4. Brown fat tissue is difficult to find and the cost is expensive.
Scientists have found brown tissue is difficult to locate within the body and this slows the process of further research. Brown fat cells are often intermingled with white fat cells within the body. Cypress, a researcher from NIDDK, notes cat scans (CT) along with PET scans must be used to visualize the most active brown cells. The challenges to this method include costs involved as well as the need to use an injected medium of radioactive material.
Research studies conducted by Cypress provides evidence mirabegron can stimulate brown adipose activity. While a number of patients were being treated with a specific drug for their over active bladders, researchers found a boost in the activity of these healthy fats. This discovery brings new found evidence to the forefront.
Further benefits in using a drug to enhance brown tissue activity will bring more benefits to many individuals in the future. Those who are obese will have the option to lose more weight through increased activity of healthy fats. Patients with fatty liver diseases (seen in one-fourth of the US population) may also benefit from the increase in brown fat tissues.