For ages, we've been told that in order to lose weight one must shed all that excessive fat. And that makes sense too. When you want to shed those extra kilos, you need to burn more calories than you're consuming. But what if we told you that there's a type of body fat that can actually help you lose weight? Yes, if you increase the amount of brown fat in your body, it can help you shed those extra kilos.
Now, let's get into the science of it. Brown fat has been known to be able to clear branched-chain amino acids (BCAA) from the blood. Excess of BCAA in the body has been linked to obesity so when brown fat clears these amino acids up, it also manages to reduce the risk of obesity in a person. What's more, brown fat uses fat as well as glucose to heat up the body in cold temperatures instead of using energy.
There are three types of fat in our body - white fat, brown fat and tan or beige fat. White fat is so far the most dangerous for the body. It accumulates under the skin and even around the organs and can help in the normal functioning of hormones such as insulin, estrogen, cortisol (the stress hormone), growth hormone and leptin. However, when this fat gets stored in the body in excessive quantities, it can lead to obesity. And this, in turn, can also lead to conditions like diabetes, liver disease and heart disease.
Brown fat, on the other hand, is present in very minuscule quantities in the human body. It generates energy and heat in the body by burning up fat content. Most of it is situated in the neck region and researchers have been trying for ages to figure out how to get it to burn more body fat. Weight-loss gurus also insist on adding brown fat content to the body by using certain techniques like swimming in cold water and consuming certain foods like hot black coffee.
“Our study explains the paradox that BCAA supplements can potentially benefit those with active brown fat, such as healthy people, but can be detrimental to others, including the elderly, obese and people with diabetes,” said co-author Labros S. Sidossis. However, researchers still believe that this method of weight loss has a lot of potentials and could be used in the future to help develop effective weight-loss strategies. Stay tuned for more updates.