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  Life   Health  11 Sep 2019  How good body fat helps in weight loss

How good body fat helps in weight loss

Published : Sep 11, 2019, 3:59 pm IST
Updated : Sep 11, 2019, 3:59 pm IST

A new study talks about the role of good body fat in treating obesity.

Brown fat helps in increasing energy expenditure, and thus helps in weight loss. (Photo: Representational/Pexels)
 Brown fat helps in increasing energy expenditure, and thus helps in weight loss. (Photo: Representational/Pexels)

People are always looking for ways to lose fat instantly. Turns out, there’s a kind of body fat that will help in achieving your weight loss goals. This was discovered in a study jointly conducted by researchers from the US and Japan.

The study, published in the journal Nature highlights how brown fat is essential for clearing branched-chain amino acids (BCAA) from the blood. It also talks about how excessive BCAA can cause obesity. BCAA are important amino acids that help in reducing muscle breakdown. They’re often used as supplements by bodybuilders because they help in improving performance.

As Firstpost explains, there are three kinds of fat in our bodies- white, brown and beige or tan fat. White fat is found under the skin and around the organs and helps in proper functioning of hormones like estrogen, insulin, cortisol, and leptin among others. When the levels of white fat go up, it results in obesity, liver disease, heart disease and diabetes.

Brown fat is found in a relatively smaller amount in our body. It contains more iron compared to white fat cells, and this is what lends it the brown colour. The main function of brown cells is to generate heat by using energy. In newborns, brown fat accounts for 5 per cent of the total weight. In adults, the fat is concentrated near the neck.

Beige fat helps in burning fatty acids to get energy when we feel stressed or cold. Weight loss experts constantly look for ways to activate brown fat. While it’s unknown how exactly brown fat fights obesity, people often drink hot coffee or swim in cold water to maximise weight loss.

Labros S. Sidossis, a co-author of the study said, “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.”

This research can open up new doors for figuring out new ways to manage weight. It could be effective in treating obesity by focusing on lifestyle changes, and would eventually help in preventing other diseases. 

Tags: weight loss, body fat