Even a modest change in temperature can activate the body’s ‘good’ brown fat
It has been known for some time that exposure to lower temperatures can promote the formation of brown fat. Brown fat, unlike white fat which stores calories, is metabolically active. Mitochondria packed brown fat cells burn energy and produce heat.
Academics at The University of Nottingham looked at how “The body decides whether to form ‘good’ brown adipose tissue which produces heat by burning fat, sugar and excess calories and helps to regulate blood sugar, or white adipose tissue, the ’bad’ type of fat which stores energy and accumulates causing weight gain over time.”
The two year study published in the journal Scientific Reports found that even modest changes in temperature activated stem cells to form brown fat at a cellular level. The production of brown fat cells was triggered when the mercury fell to just 32 degrees celsius (the human body is 37 degrees celsius.)
The researchers hope their work “ Could help us to better understand and tackle issues related to obesity and metabolism and develop new ways of controlling diseases such as diabetes.”
NOTE: Previous studies have also found that when someone exercises the levels of a hormone known as irisin rise, switching on genes that convert white fat into brown fat.