Brown fat is good for health

Scientists suggest brown fat which is also known as brown adipose tissue helps in protecting people against obesity and diabetes. Intensive study in the field of brown fat in human health could ultimately also help in inventing new medications for the treatment of type 2 diabetes and obesity.

Brown fat is regarded as a heat organ. It is commonly found in areas like kidneys, collarbone, neck and the spinal cord. Brown fat when activated by cool temperatures uses sugar and fat from blood in order to generate heat in the body.

Based on a new study by Rutgers and other scientists, brown fat further also helps in body filter and in eliminating branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) from the blood.  BCAAs are commonly found in meat, fish, eggs, chicken and milk, in addition to supplements meant for muscle building.

Scientists observed that normal concentrations of amino acids in the blood are indicators of good health, whereas excessive amounts attribute to diabetes and obesity. Moreover, people with low brown fat are not capable of clearing BCAAs from blood, thus leading to diabetes or obesity.

Reports allege, the study helped in uncovering a mystery about brown fats, on how they enter mitochondria which generates energy and heat in the cells. Moreover, the study also discovered that with the help of a new protein, SLC25A44, brown fat can be controlled in clearing amino acids from blood and can be used in generating heat and energy.

“Our study explains the paradox that BCAA supplements can potentially benefit those with active brown fat, such as healthy people, but can be detrimental to others, including the elderly, obese and people with diabetes,” according to co-author Labros S. Sidossis, Professor who chairs the Department of Kinesiology and Health in the School of Arts and Sciences at Rutgers University-New Brunswick.

Future research in the area involves studying the uptake of BCAAs by brown fats which can be controlled by environmental factors such as temperature, intake of spicy foods or drugs. This could help in determining blood sugar levels which are closely connected with obesity and diabetes.