Brown Fat May Help Lose Weight

A new study has shown that adults can lose body fat without much effort simply by tapping into a particular type of fat. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, adults still have brown fat, which has long been thought to have been gone as we grown older.

All of us are all born with brown fat, a type of fat that produces heat and consumes calories in the process. Brown fat is essential to us during babyhood because babies could not be able to shiver and have their bodies warm.

It has long been thought that we do not develop brown fat once our bodies become capable of shivering and producing heat. With new evidence suggesting that we still have brown fat as adults, we can assume that we can lose our body fat-and our body weight as well-by simply staying at cold temperatures.

Brown fat is not necessarily the fat just under the skin that has been tanned from the sun. Although literally brown in color, brown fat gets its color from the iron content in its mitochondria. We do not see the brown color by the naked eye, but rather by positron emission tomography scans.

Dr. Aaron Cypress, lead author of one of studies linking brown fat among adults, said that this finding has created an entirely new way of obesity treatment. The study was conducted by evaluating over 1,900 patients who have undergone PET scans.

Researchers found out that 7.5 percent of women in the study had brown fat in some areas bigger than four millimeters, while 3.1 percent of men had brown fat similar in size. The study also discovered that thinner people had more brown fat than those who are overweight.