Brown adipose tissue (BAT), also known as brown fat, is one of two types of fat humans and other mammals possess in their body. It is a healthy fat, when fully activated, brown fat generates three hundred times more heat than any other tissue in the body. Just two ounces of brown fat appear capable of burning several hundred calories per day—the equivalent of a 30-minute bout of exercise.
Difference between White & Brown Fat
Fat cells within the body can be categorized into white and brown fat.
- White adipocytes (white fat cells) have a single lipid droplet, brown adipocytes on the other hand, contain many small lipid droplets, as well as a very high number of iron-containing mitochondria. Brown fat gets its dark red to tan color from its high iron content.
- Brown fat has more capillaries than white fat, because of its higher oxygen consumption. Brown fat also has many unmyelinated nerves, providing sympathetic stimulation to the fat cells.
- White fat is the result of storing excess calories. When we consume too many calories, the body converts them into a contingency energy reserve in the form of white fat.
- Brown fat generates heat by burning calories. When it is cold, brown fat’s lipid reserves are depleted, and its color gets darker.
- Brown adipose tissue also acts as an endocrine organ and can secrete factors that activate fat and carbohydrates metabolism.
Humans and mammals with higher levels of brown fat take longer to start shivering from the cold, than those with lower levels. Brown adipose tissue levels are higher in a child than in older humans.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a better way to identify deposition of brown fat in the body.
Sources of Omega-3 Fatty Acids
World’s Healthiest Foods Rich in Omega-3 Fats
DRI/DV: Is the amount of omega-3 fats contained in one serving size of the food, the percent Daily Value (DV%) that this amount represents, the nutrient density that we calculated for this food and nutrient, and the rating we established in our rating system.