“The thing about brown fat is that it takes a very small amount to burn a lot of energy.” – Dr. C. Ronald Kahn
This special fat, which is found at the back of the neck and between the shoulders blades, is brown under the microscope because it has a high concentration of mitochondria, which are the furnaces of the cell. Mitochondria convert energy to heat, so having active brown fat is a great way to burn away calories. This process is thermogenesis (heat-generation).
We used to think that only babies and small children had significant amounts of brown fat. Now we know that adults have it too, and that some adults have more than others. Those of us with the highest proportion of brown fat have no trouble staying thin. Researchers believe that a method to increase a person’s brown fat would be a very effective treatment for diabetes and obesity.
Natural Ways to Make Your Brown Fat Work for You:
Exercise activates brown fat. Once activated, brown fat continues to burn calories even when you are at rest.
- Enjoy the cold weather
If you live in a cold climate, you might want to spend some time out-of-doors. Short exposures to cold increase brown fat activity.
(If you experience weight gain in the winter, you may have higher levels of the thyroid-suppressing hibernation hormone “reverse T3”. Stay tuned for a post about “reverse T3”.)
- Turn down the thermostat.
New British research has found that cooler rooms activate our brown fat.
- Coconut milk and butter
The fat from coconut milk and butter, called medium chain fatty acids or MCT, stimulate thermogenesis in brown fat.
- Green tea
Green tea has two constituents that increase thermogenesis: caffeine and an antioxidant called EGCG.
- Thyroid hormone and DHEA
Both thyroid hormone and the adrenal hormone DHEA are important for thermogenesis. DHEA levels improve with sleep, stress management and adrenal tonic herbs such as Ginseng.
- Coleus (Coleus forskohlii).
This herbal medicine enhances thermogensis by stimulating mitochondria, and research shows that it can promote significant weight loss.
Caution: Coleus lowers blood pressure, so do not use before surgery. It increases stomach acid, so caution for those with ulcers.
- Avoid certain medications like beta-blockers which suppress brown fat activity.
Yours in Health,