You might have heard about white & brown fat or the impact of cold on metabolism or extreme measures like CoolSculpting for fat burning. This post will help us learn more about brown fat and how it helps in the fat-burning process.
One of the important connective tissues in our body is 'Adipose Connective' tissue. They mainly consist of Adipocytes (or fat cells). They have large fat storage at the center of the cell (that pushes the cell nucleus towards the plasma membrane). Adipose tissues are located throughout the body
Beneath the skin (subcutaneous fat)
Around internal org (visceral fat)
Intermuscular (muscular system)
These Adipose tissues produce hormones like leptin, estrogen, etc. Some of the critical functions of Adipose tissues are
Stores energy or fat
Cushion and insulates the body
There are two types of Adipose tissues: White & Brown
White Adipose tissues (WAT) or white fat
By BruceBlaus. Blausen.com staff (2014). "Medical gallery of Blausen Medical 2014".
Generally, 20-25% of our body weight is WAT. They are used to store energy (fat)..this is the fat that we want to burn. White adipose tissue also acts as a thermal insulator, helping in maintain body temperature.
Brown Adipose Tissue or Brown Fat
They are abundant in newborns and infants but also present in metabolically active adult humans (and decreases as human age). These adipocytes are found interspersed in white adipose tissue.
Brown adipose tissue works very differently - they burn off excess lipids. They are metabolic and can increase body heat & fat burn. Their primary function is thermo-regulation (heat produced by shivering muscle, etc.).
Converting white fat into brown fat will increase the fat burning process and aid in weight loss. This is why cold therapy is sometimes useful in the fat burning process, but the best way to increase brown fat is to exercise. Exercise helps in gaining more brown fat - so you not only lose calories, but you also gain this brown fat that can increase the fat burning process & metabolism.