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People with brown fat may burn 15% more calories

New data highlights how cold exposure activates brown fat, energy metabolism

Date:
April 28, 2020
Source:
The Endocrine Society
Summary:
Short-term cold exposure may help people with brown fat burn 15% more calories than those without, according to a small study.
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Short-term cold exposure may help people with brown fat burn 15 percent more calories than those without, according to a small study published in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Unlike white fat, brown fat burns calories through fatty acid oxidation and heat production and is considered a promising target in the fight against the obesity epidemic. The biggest activator of brown fat is moderate cold exposure.

"This data improves our understanding of how brown fat works in humans," said the study's corresponding author, Florian W. Kiefer, M.D., Ph.D., of the Medical University of Vienna in Austria. "We found that individuals with active brown fat burned 20 more kilocalories than those without."

The researchers identified two groups using a PET scan -- those with and without active brown fat. They analyzed brown fat function and energy expenditure in these individuals before and after short-term cold exposure finding that the group with active brown fat not only burned significantly more calories but had a healthier fatty acid blood profile.

"We have to study human brown fat in more detail to see if this organ can protect us against metabolic and cardiovascular disease," Kiefer said.


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Materials provided by The Endocrine Society. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Florian W Kiefer, Christopher Gerner, Alexandra Kautzky-Willer, Dietmar Pils, Andrea Bileck, Alexander R Haug, Carsten T Herz, Laura Niederstaetter, Oana C Kulterer. The presence of active brown adipose tissue determines cold-induced energy expenditure and oxylipin profiles in humans. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 2020; DOI: 10.1210/clinem/dgaa183

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The Endocrine Society. "People with brown fat may burn 15% more calories." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 April 2020. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/04/200428091504.htm>.
The Endocrine Society. (2020, April 28). People with brown fat may burn 15% more calories. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 7, 2023 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/04/200428091504.htm
The Endocrine Society. "People with brown fat may burn 15% more calories." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/04/200428091504.htm (accessed December 7, 2023).

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