Brown Fat: Key to Obesity and Warmth?

Thermal imaging shows brown fat on a child’s neck (in red) when their hand is put in cold water

We’ve written in the past about the news on good fat (brown) vs. bad fat (white), and how the good fat helps regulate body temperate by generating heat that burns calories.  Earlier news stories reported that when people are cold, we stimulate good fat to help keep us warm.  So we questioned if having Raynaud’s helps to keep Frosties trim (no response from the Frostie community, sorry!).

Now that obesity has become a large target of the the medical community, brown fat is back in the news.  The new hypothesis is if brown fat can be harnessed, “we’d be hot and thin.”   Great news for Frosties!

But it’s not that simple.  There could be danger associated with using agents to stimulate body tissue, plus we have no control over the quantities of each kind of fat in our bodies and how each is managed.  So for now, researchers will explore how the interaction of nutrition, exercise, our environment and medical interventions could impact brown fat and its heat-generating properties.  They say it looks promising for the successful treatment of obesity, along with diabetes and heart problems.   How about a study on how brown fat could help Raynaud’s sufferers?  Let’s hope!

Click here for the full BBC News article.