People with brown fat may burn 15% more calories

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In a new study, researchers found that short-term cold exposure may help people with brown fat burn 15% more calories than those without.

The research was conducted by a team at the Medical University of Vienna.

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.

In the study, the team 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.

This data improves the understanding of how brown fat works in humans. Individuals with active brown fat burned 20 more kilocalories than those without.

The team says now they have to study human brown fat in more detail to see if this organ can protect people against metabolic and heart disease.

One author of the study is Florian W. Kiefer, M.D., Ph.D. from the Medical University of Vienna in Austria.

The study is published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

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