What can brown fat do for you?
Also called brown adipose tissue, this natural body fat is a calorie-burning dynamo.
It could help you fight obesity and potentially prevent diabetes type 2.
Until recently, however, there wasn’t much hope that this fat would help eliminate the current obesity epidemic.
It was thought that adults lost their brown fat when they lost their baby fat.
Now new studies have located this natural fat super-fighter in adults after using high-tech PET scans (New England Journal of Medicine, April 2009).
Unlike white fat cells which acts as sluggish and large fat deposits on your body, the brown tiny fat cells can actually burn calories while you sleep.
How many calories can this fat burn?
According to Dr. Cypress of the Joslin Diabetes Center, it can burn up to 20% of resting energy expenditure or approximately 500 calories daily, if it is activated.
Studies have also shown that it can be activated by cooler temperatures, under 61 degrees F.
On the other hand, it is deactivated by beta-blocker drugs used by heart patients.
While research on activating brown fat metabolism to help people manage overweight is just beginning, there is already some evidence that daily green tea may have the necessary chemicals (catechins working synergistically with caffeine) to do the job.
So if you don’t want to shiver in a cold room, or wait decades for a miracle drug, you may want to see if delicious green tea could be part of your healthy weight lifestyle.
As always, if you have health problems, you should coordinate lifestyle changes with your health care provider.
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This page was last updated by Sharon Jones on March 19, 2013.
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