What In The World Is Brown Fat?

It’s actually what we used to call baby fat, aptly termed since doctors thought that this type of fat went away as aBrown fat is yummy person grew up, according to a recent article in the Los Angeles Times. But that may not be the case:

Three new studies show that most adults have unexpectedly large and active deposits of a calorie-burning type of fat that biologists once thought disappeared after infancy.
The persistence of brown fat suggests a potential new strategy to fight obesity, which is epidemic in the United States and increasing rapidly in the developing world. In addition to eating less and exercising more, people may one day be able to stimulate their bodies to get rid of stored energy — in the form of ordinary fat — purely as heat.”

Before we go on, please highlight the part that says ‘In addition to eating less and exercising more’. So a quick little run down of what brown fat is used for in the body. Basically, when we get cold, brown fat ‘activates’ to release energy in the form of heat, thus keeping our non-furry bodies warm. Obviously, this makes most sense for babies who don’t have extensive wardrobes with winter coats, or the sense to equip themselves with such clothing.

How can you activate this brown fat?:

At the moment, however, the only safe way of activating brown fat is to stay chilly, right at the verge of shivering, for prolonged periods.”
Could this be the explanation for why many people recommend taking cold showers, especially after a good session in the sauna? It appears so. While it’s known that lean people have more brown fat, one thing that we don’t know yet is:

In humans, it is unclear whether brown fat is more a cause of leanness or a result of it.”
The scientists studying brown fat are not ruling out the activation of brown fat as a way of losing weight. But before you start demanding a deep freeze pill, know the reason why obesity is so prevalent. The author of the article puts it beautifully:

The latest findings highlight once again the extent to which obesity is a consequence of evolution. Homo sapiens evolved in a world marked by barely enough food, constant physical activity and dangerous cold, but now lives amid abundance, leisure and warmth.”
Did you hear what I heard there? That’s right, if we want to accept the benefits that accompany evolution then we have to be willing to take the negative consequences. Unless you can fight the urge to indulge in this abundance. The choice is yours, as always.





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