What is Brown Fat, and Why Should You Care?

Are you aware that different types and properties of fat exist in our bodies? White fat, which tends stretch your pants and spill over to your waistband, stores energy. This is no surprise. There is also some brown fat. This color comes from the iron in it. Brown fat is also rich in mitochondria, known as “the powerhouse” of the cell. These mitochondria are what you would call the “engines” of brown fat. They burn calories and generate heat. You can see public source on our website for more info.

While the white fat can be used as insulation, the brown fat remains active. Babies have a lot brown fat. While most adults have some brown fat, it is not nearly as high as that found in babies. People who are leaner tend to have more of it than people who are heavier. However, we don’t know if that’s genetic.

According to one study 15 minutes spent in cold temperatures could be equivalent to an hour of exercise. Researchers observed healthy men and woman exercising in a 65degF environment. The temperature dropped to 53°F, and then the study participants were forced to lie on a cold bed. Both of these tests showed that the muscles contracted, and they were shivering. The hormone irisin is found in skeletal muscle and can be released by the body. This hormone boosts body heat, creates brown fat cells and removes white fat cells.

The researchers were baffled by the discovery. Researchers speculated that the ancient biological survival mechanism of shivering (which is triggered by cold) helps maintain our core temperature and prevent hypothermia. Perhaps this would stimulate irisin secretion. They created tests to see if exercise was more important than shivering in order to discover the source of irisin production. Muscle contractions are what produce irisin. Doesn’t really matter whether you exercise or shiver. Once it has been produced, it circulates through your blood changing white fat cells to brown ones.