January 30, 2012

Brown Fat Burns Calories

(Ivanhoe Newswire)-- Can brown fat make you thinner? A research team led by Andre Carpentier and Denis Richard at the Université de Sherbrook, in Quebec; attempted to find the answer.

Brown adipose tissue also known as brown fat is a tissue known to burn calories and generate body heat in new born babies and rodents. Recently, adult humans were also found to have a small percentage of brown fat.

The Canadian researchers were intrigued by the idea that if they could develop ways to increase the amount of brown fat a person has, then that person could become slimmer. No previous studies had ever shown that brown fat helps to burn fat in adults.

What the team found was that when adult men are exposed to cold their brown fat burns energy to generate body heat; however, it did not burn energy at room temperatures.

Barbara Cannon and Jan Nedergaard, at Stockholm University, Sweden, discuss in an accompanying commentary how the data may help fight the obesity issue in humans. Specifying that the data collected by Carpentier and colleagues indicates that increasing the amount of brown fat a person has is unlikely to make that person thinner, a more favorable solution would be to find way to make sure that the brown fat is active and burns calories.

SOURCE: Journal of Clinical Investigation, January 24, 2012