By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness
October 30, 2017
- The body fat that makes you skinny
- Ramp up levels of calorie-burning fat
- Make your white fat brown
You may not be happy with the amount of fat on your body. But there’s one type of fat that’s actually good for you. The more of it you have, the more reason you have to love it.
It’s called brown fat. And while you may not hear much about it, it’s the kind of fat actually promotes weight loss… helping to burn off extra calories at an extraordinary rate.
You see, the majority of fat in your body is white fat (officially known as white adipose tissue/WAT). This is the type that expands your waistline and contributes to obesity.
However, you also carry a small amount of brown fat (brown adipose tissue/BAT).
Well, here’s the thing. Brown fat is thermogenic. This means it produces energy in the form of heat, which tends to increase metabolism. And activating only a tiny amount of brown fat can have a tremendous effect on your weight and blood sugar.
Ramp up Levels of this Calorie Burning Fat
It was once thought that only babies had brown fat.
Now we know that humans retain barely detectible amounts of it into adulthood. It can be found in various regions throughout the body like the neck and shoulder area. You may also have narrow layers among certain muscle groups, organs and bones.
People who are overweight, older or have blood sugar issues all tend to have lower amounts of this metabolically active type of fat. However, you only have to activate a small amount of it to gain multiple health benefits. In fact, it’s estimated that just 50 grams of brown fat could burn about 20% of an average person’s daily caloric intake when it’s fully activated.
Interestingly, cold stimulation can literally increase the content of BAT. It promotes the production of “thermogenic adipocytes”… the ones associated with enhanced metabolism.
For example, when a group of men with low levels of brown fat sat in a 63 degree room two hours a day, BAT activity was increased significantly. In just six weeks, men who previously had undetectable activities of BAT showed activity.
And here’s the real kicker. Their ability to metabolize calories rose from burning 108.4 calories daily to burning 289 a day. They ended up losing over 5% of their fat mass in just about a month and a half.
Two hours of cold exposure can also increase glucose uptake by a factor of 15, which is great news for anyone with blood sugar problems.
This means spending more time outdoors in cold weather could activate more brown fat… and help you burn off two or three times more calories than you normally would.
However, not everyone is going to be a fan of hanging around in cold temperatures. But don’t despair. There are several other ways to boost your stores of brown fat.
Make Your White Fat Brown
Anyone who is in on a weight loss journey has probably heard that spicy foods stimulate thermogenesis. And there is plenty of truth to this.
Capsaicin, which is found in hot peppers, stimulates BAT activity, induces thermogenesis and increases energy expenditure in humans. This, of course, inhibits the formation of fat and fatty tissue. At the same time, this red-hot spice suppresses appetite and can boost the health of your gut microbiome.
This gives you ample reason to add more hot peppers and red chili pepper powder to your meals. (If you’re not a fan of spicy foods, you can do just as well by taking a capsaicin supplement.)
Supplementing with resveratrol may also help regulate BAT activity. This nutrient activates SIRT1 expression in white fat which, in turn, helps move fat out of fat cells.
And based on animal models, resveratrol could potentially increase mitochondrial activity in brown fat. This is an important finding, since impaired mitochondrial activity is associated with obesity.
I recommend at least 50 mg of resveratrol each day. You can boost the power behind resveratrol by combining it with 25 mg of pterostilbene. This close cousin to resveratrol is four times more bioavailable than resveratrol alone.
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