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Scientists Think This Type of Body Fat Could Be Good for You


Brown fat could help get rid of harmful compounds linked to conditions such as obesity and diabetes, scientists believe.

The research, published in the journal Nature, shines a light both on brown fat as well as compounds called branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), which are among the nine “essential” amino acids which human proteins are made up of. BCAAs—valine, leucine and isoleucine—mainly come from meat, fish, dairy products and eggs, and are also found in some fitness supplements. High levels of BCAAs in the body have been linked to obesity, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes in both humans and rodents.

When exposed to low temperatures, brown fat cells help turn energy stored in the body into heat. Sitting around the kidneys and adrenal glands, and to a lesser extent the blood vessels of the neck and the cavities between organs, our brown fat levels are the highest in the womb, and gradually drop in our first weeks of life.