Turn on Brown Fat for More Rapid Weight Loss

The human body contains small amounts of a calorie-burning tissue called brown fat (brown adipose tissue, BAT) that converts food energy directly into heat. White fat does the opposite— it stores energy. BAT is an important heat-generating tissue in hibernating animals. It promotes non-shivering thermogenesis, which generates heat and helps animals and humans adapt to the cold. Brown fat accounts for as much as 10 percent of the fat mass in people living in cold climates, such as northern Finland. Individual differences in BAT content and activity play an important role in human obesity. BAT is turned on by the sympathetic nervous system, which is the body’s fight-or-flight system for coping with stress and emergencies. Increasing brown fat activation helps people expend more calories and burn more fat. Dietary supplements, such as AML’s Thermo Heat, can increase brown fat activity, which will increase caloric expenditure and promote fat burning. Three drug classes proposed to alter BAT metabolism include the thiazolidinedione (TZD) class of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma agonists and fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21) analogs. These drugs aren’t ready for prime time. (Frontiers in Endocrinology, 6: article 174, 2015)

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