Having excessive fat is considered to be an indication of poor health. But did you know that not all fat is bad and there are different types – including white, beige, and brown fat. White fat stores calories as energy for leaner times whereas brown fat is enriched with mitochondria that burn up lipids converting energy into heat when our body temperature drops. We share how you can activate brown fat to promote many health benefits.
Where is brown fat located in the body?
We’re all familiar with white fat as the fat that collects around our midriff, hips and thighs, brown fat is located deeper in the body, making it more difficult to study. This fat is abundant in babies and during our childhood and until 2009, scientists weren’t even sure that adults retained their brown fat beyond our early years. This is the reason that very little is known about the factors that influence it or its actual function in the body. Recent improved imaging techniques have now allowed scientist to study this type of fat to research its potential role and how it may help to prevent disease.
Researchers have used data from 52,000 patients to evaluate the relationship between brown fat and health in humans. The study showed that those with higher amounts of brown fat are less likely to suffer from cardiometabolic diseases such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and coronary artery disease. These findings were especially pronounced in people with higher BMIs and offers the potential for preventing and treating the diseases related to obesity.
For a long time, it was thought that brown fat was only found in small mammals and new-born babies, with a purpose of preventing hyperthermia. It was believed that this fat was present at birth but gradually diminished as we reached out 20’s, however a series of recent papers have shown that adults do in fact have brown fat.
Scientists are working on the theory that the amount of brown fat influences the distribution of white fat including the percentage of subcutaneous tissue compared to the amount of visceral fat (the dangerous fat stored around your stomach and organs).
Other possibilities are that brown fat consumes toxic metabolites and that it is an important endocrine organ and has an influence hormone production.
Brown fat helps to reduce the potential for cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Studies indicate that people who had brown fat had a significantly lower rates of type two diabetes than people who did not have brown fat. While people who are obese and had brown fat were only slightly more at risk of type two diabetes than people with a normal BMI who did not have brown fat.
These discoveries are raising the hope that the presence of brown fat protects against the diseases associated with obesity. And if that is true, then we can look at ways to increase the amount of brown fat that a person to help to treat or help prevent some of these diseases.
How can you activate brown fat?
There are certain ways that you can actively increase your brown fat activity.
Lowering the body temperature
Currently, the best way to switch on or increase brown fat . . . is with cold exposure. Swimming in cold water stimulates the activity of brown fat cells increases metabolism. While it may sound extreme, you can experience the same benefits by turning your shower to cold for just a minute to start to build up your resilience.
AMPK is an enzyme that is activated when cells are running low on energy. This can be simulated during intense exercise or calorie restriction. Increasing the activity of AMPK in brown fat cells will naturally raise brown fat activity to boost metabolism, improve insulin sensitivity, promote cellular recycling, decrease inflammation and improve muscle performance.
What are brown fat foods
Enduring cold showers, intense exercise and calorie restriction are a tough call for many of us but certain foods and supplements can help in our quest to activate brown fat cells.
At the top of the list is foods rich in polyphenols and fibre. Polyphenols are the natural chemicals that give fruits and vegetables their colour. These are the foods that will help to boost AMPK. Include brightly coloured berries, rich leafy greens and foods with a rich red/orange hue such as carrots and peppers.
However, it’s difficult to consume enough fresh fruit and vegetables to efficiently increase brown fat cells. Food supplements with concentrated extracts can give you the benefits you seek in capsule form.
Rejuvenated combine many potent plant extracts in our formulas to give you high quality nutrition to activate brown fat cells to promote your quest for a youth boosting healthy lifestyle.
Resveratrol(grapes), quercetin (onions), pterostilbene (blueberries), astragalus (herb)
Gynostemma (green herb), green coffee, Mulberry leaf, zinc
Grapeseed, pine bark, astaxanthin (algae)
Beta glucans (oats), turmeric, astragalus, cordyceps (mushroom), elderberry, zinc
Green tea, pea protein (stimulates leptin, the satiety hormone)
We’d love to hear if you go wild swimming or practise any of these techniques.