July 12, 2020   8:49am

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It’s the brown fat that keeps you lean…

First it was trans and saturated fats that we had to distinguish. Now the talk is white and brown fat. No, it’s not a difference in actual color, but this white and brown fat (found in our body) could have big implications for the fight over obesity.In the Science News article, “Other, friendly fat present in adult humans,”* new studies are brought to light showing “some adult humans have brown fat, an energy-burning type of fat previously thought to be found only in animals and human babies.”

The difference is this: white fat stores energy while brown fat burns it to give off heat, meaning it could be very important in controlling weight and blood sugar. Unfortunately, this magical brown fat has been detected mostly in areas few of us care to keep trim, including our neck, abdomen, above the collarbone and spine.

The discovery of brown fat (in 7.5% of women, 3.1% of men during their study), is at least helping us get closer to understanding the problem. “Scientists suspect brown fat may help lean people keep weight off. Obese people may be overweight partly because they lack brown fat and can’t burn all the calories they take in, or their white fat may provide insulation so brown fat isn’t needed,” the article says.

Great. Another demonstration that life just isn’t fair.


*Science News, “Other, friendly fat present in adult humans,” by Tina Hesman Saey, May 9, 2009, page 10

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