The Complete Guide To Brown Fat! How Does It Differ From Body Fat?

Do you know what is brown fat? And how does it differ from body fat? Brown adipose tissue, often known as brown fat, is a subset of the body’s fatty tissue that becomes active in response to cold. When your body temperature drops, your fat brown kicks in to help keep you warm. Brown fat contains “engines” called mitochondria, which oxidize fatty acids and release heat.

Many scientists show their interest in brown fat as it seems to burn ordinary body fat for energy. Brown fat may be activated by hormones that are stimulated by exercise. The potential of brown fat’s calorie-burning characteristics plays a vital role in reducing body fat. Meanwhile, remember to include exercise in your strategies for weight control.

Brown Adipose Tissue: What Is That?

If you become too cold, your brown fat (or brown adipose tissue will start producing heat to keep you comfortable. Scientists are still researching to discover other important roles of brown fat in the body.

Brown fat is prevalent behind the shoulder blades of newborns. Babies cannot shiver, a natural method through which the body generates heat. The body’s brown fat may be used as a source of heat. As you grow older, you develop a shivering reaction to cold weather and lose much of that ability.

Brown Adipose Tissue What Is That

In all likelihood, you aren’t asking whether there’s a “good” kind of body fat to have if you’re one of the millions of people seeking to improve their health by losing weight. Numerous studies suggest that the brown fat you already have may be a hidden weight-loss weapon.

Brown adipose tissue, often known as brown fat, is a kind of fat in the body that may use to generate heat when temperatures drop. You won’t often lose consciousness when sledding or strolling in the snow and wind.

Brown fat differs from white fat because it has more mitochondria. Brown fat contains “engines” called mitochondria, which oxidize fatty acids and release heat. Numerous studies have indicated that exposure to cold increases the amount of brown fat in the body, which may enhance calorie expenditure.

What Is Brown Fat?

It’s possible that learning the many hues that make up the fat in your body may come as a surprise to you. Researchers have distinguished between two types of fat: white and brown. Inducible brown adipose tissue is another name that is sometimes used to refer to (BAT).

Brown fat is present in at least trace amounts in every person. In contrast to fat white cells, responsible for calorie storage, brown fat cells include mitochondria, which are responsible for burning energy and producing heat.

Initially assumed that brown fat was exclusively present in newborn newborns in humans. In contrast, researchers in 2009 discovered trace quantities of brown fat in adult subjects. In addition, it was found that those with lower body mass index (BMIs) tended to have a more significant proportion of brown fat in their bodies. According to what the researchers said in their results, this discovery points to “a possible involvement of brown [fat] in adult human metabolism.” 

Because brown fat can aid in weight loss by facilitating the burning of calories, researchers are exploring different methods to put this capability to use in the battle against obesity.

Can Brown Fat Help You Lose Weight?

Researchers are interested in brown fat since it utilizes ordinary body fat as fuel. It has created a lot of attention. Studies have shown that physical activity promotes the hormones that trigger brown fat to perform its magic. It is particularly true if a person is engaging in physical activity since this makes the effect of brown fat much more pronounced.

Help You Lose Weight

In the not-too-distant future, new and innovative weight loss therapies may include strategies such as harnessing the power of brown fat to burn calories and continuing to develop prescription drugs that trigger the body to create more brown fat. 

Certain medicines might cause the white fat to become brown. The brown fat formation can be assisted by thiazolidinediones (TZDs), a medication that helps manage insulin resistance. However, TZD drugs are only accessible to persons diagnosed with the disease and cannot be purchased by anybody else.

TZDs have some adverse side effects, including but not limited to weight gain and fluid retention. Therefore, those who want to develop more brown fat cannot take them as a fast cure to achieve their goal.

How Brown Fat Improves Metabolism?

The chemical processes that turn the food the human body consumes into simple sugars, fatty acids, and amino acids are a part of the metabolic process. These chemical components provide the fuel that their bodies need to function correctly. Metabolism in the human body may be affected by a wide variety of things, including nutrition, genes, surroundings, and the amount of physical exercise they do each day.

Brown fat generates heat by breaking down molecules of blood sugar (glucose) and fat, which assists in the maintenance of the body’s internal temperature.

Brown fat is activated when temperatures are low. Its activation causes a variety of metabolic changes throughout the body. However, most of their fat is white fat, which serves as a reservoir for additional energy. When someone is obese, then their body tends to store a lot of white fat.

The scientists determined that 17 males had a high brown fat activity based on measurements done at room temperature, whereas 16 of the men were classed as having low activity. The guys were subsequently subjected to a chilly temperature to stimulate their brown fat, but not so intense that it caused them to tremble. This treatment lasted for two hours.

Unexpectedly, the researchers discovered that the men with high levels of brown fat activity also had lower amounts of chemicals in their bloodstreams known as branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs). This alteration was not seen in males with a low activity level of brown fat. Experiments with obese mice demonstrated that exposure to cold also decreased the amount of BCAAs in rats that had brown fat.

What Stimulates Brown Adipose Tissue?

Exposure to cold is the most efficient way to activate brown adipose tissue. There is longer a need to spend extended time in cold environments, and it’s possible that meals and eating are additional activators of brown fat activity in the contemporary world. Insulin is crucial in regulating brown fat functional activity after a meal, but only in the short term.

Human brown adipose tissue glucose absorption may be increased by insulin by a factor of five relative to fasting. Brown fat’s oxidative metabolism is increased by a factor of two: by cold and by food. Brown adipose tissue in humans is a kind of insulin-sensitive tissue, and insulin resistance, which is common in obese people, hinders the tissue’s ability to perform its metabolic role. When people lose weight, their brown adipose tissue responds better to cold temperatures.

Rapid brown adipose tissue (BAT) activation by food and cold exposure may help adults maintain metabolic balance. Specifically, this adaptation is characterized by increased activity of the BAT-specific uncoupling protein localized on the inner mitochondrial membrane. 

The quantity of BAT in humans declines with age and is inversely linked to body mass index (BMI); therefore, slowing the pace at which BAT is lost might significantly affect metabolic health in the old. Although it has been proven that food may promote BAT function, the amount to which particular nutrients can have equivalent impacts is not well understood, making it unlikely that this goal can be attained by dietary elements alone.

Animal studies show that nutrients like capsaicin analogs and capsinoids have the same effects in raising BAT-dependent calorie expenditure as cold exposure, suggesting that these nutrients might stimulate brown and beige cells. Caffeine is a plant alkaloid often found in beverages including coffee, tea, cola, and chocolate; it has been linked to decreased body fat and enhancing energy expenditure in human and animal models of obesity and diabetes when ingested in vivo. Caffeine has been shown to increase UCP in obese people, although it is unclear whether or not caffeine (or coffee) stimulates BAT.

To further understand this, researchers used a newly constructed stem cell browning model to test the hypothesis that physiologically relevant doses of coffee might alter cellular metabolism and lipid management by promoting the action of uncoupling protein.

How To Activate Brown Fat Naturally?

It may be hard to believe, but the hue of their body fat has a significant impact on our metabolism, fitness, vitality, reasonable weight control, and general health. Brown and white adipocytes are the two hues that have been established in the body of knowledge to exist. It is common knowledge that brown fat is superior to white fat in terms of its health benefits.

Cold exposure seems to make the most significant impact in acquiring brown fat, based on experience and research. After doing research in the field of endocrinology, experts discovered that the body generates norepinephrine in response to exposure to cold temperatures. There are receptors for norepinephrine in brown fat tissues, and these receptors tell the mitochondria to produce energy.

What Foods Increase Brown Fat?

  • Consume an apple

If you eat one apple per day, it could help you avoid visits to the doctor and keep the pounds off: Researchers at the University of Iowa discovered that ursolic acid, which is present in apple peels and is responsible for giving apples their shine, increased the amount of brown fat in mice, even when the mice a diet heavy in fat.

  • Include spicy components in your diet

The spicy components found in hot peppers accelerate the production of brown fat in the body. A study published in the British Journal of Pharmacology shows that a healthy intake of spices triggers the formation of brown fat.

What Foods Increase Brown Fat
  • Consider taking Resveratrol rich foods

Resveratrol is a natural polyphenol that comes with obesity management properties. This helps in regulating blood glucose by boosting the conversion rate of white fat in Brown fat cells. Resveratrol-rich food includes peanuts, grapes, dark chocolate, red and white wine, pistachios, blueberries, and cranberries.

  • Green Tea

Green tea boost metabolism that leads to natural weight loss. Green tea help in reducing body fat by inducing browning in white fat cells.

Final Thoughts

Though the majority of the research and studies show that cold exposure can increase the amount of brown fat in the body, there is no clear evidence showing the amount of cold a person has to be exposed to in order to raise the production of beneficial brown fat.

Further study is required before physicians can provide a pill or other fast remedy to turn white fat into brown fat. Before you begin taking ice baths, eating extra, or turning down the temperature on your thermostat, you should start by making some simple adjustments to your diet and trying out some low-impact activities. 


Alina reese
Alina Reese

About the author

Certified Integrative Health Practitioner in Austin, Texas. Specialize in replenishing nutrient deficiencies & digestive health! And also Passionate about improving health literacy in the community, and ensuring quality and accessible services for all.

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