The Skinny On Brown Fat: What It Is + How To Activate It Naturally
Body fat has gotten a bad rap over the past few decades. From the demonization of dietary fats in '90s fad diets to the overwhelming societal pressure to lose excess body fat, there's an air of cruelty surrounding all fat-focused topics of conversation.
But the truth is, we need fat. It's not only completely normal to have body fat—it's absolutely essential for our general health (especially for women). Fat is where our bodies store energy, how we absorb essential nutrients, and even critically supports menstruation and reproductive health.
And as simplified as conversations around fat tend to be, different types of body fat have varying purposes. And one type, called brown fat, is particularly beneficial to our metabolic health.
What is brown fat?
Brown fat, aka brown adipose tissue (BAT), helps produce body heat in a metabolic process called thermogenesis1. Because brown fat cells contain more mitochondria than white fat cells, BAT is able to convert energy from food into heat at a higher rate of efficiency.
Generally speaking, metabolically healthy adults have higher amounts of brown adipose tissue2.
How to activate brown fat naturally.
Brown fat gets activated when your body temperature drops in cold conditions. While you can simply expose yourself to cold conditions (think working out in the snow or plunging in an ice bath), there are other ways to activate brown fat naturally.
A process called diet-induced thermogenesis (an important component of daily energy expenditure) occurs during the digestion and absorption of certain nutrients. For example: Key phytochemicals found in foods and supplements—such as capsinoids3 in cayenne pepper, ketones4 in grains of paradise, and EGCG5 in green tea—have been found to activate BAT thermogenesis.*
mbg's metabolism+ delivers each of these botanical ingredients (i.e., cayenne pepper, grains of paradise, and EGCG from green tea extract) in efficacious doses to help activate thermogenic brown adipose tissue.* This innovative metabolism booster formula helps optimize metabolic rate to promote healthy body composition, weight, and body fat.*
Not all fat is created equal—when activated, brown fat (aka brown adipose tissue), burns energy to produce body heat in a metabolic process called thermogenesis.
To help activate brown fat naturally, consider taking a quality metabolism booster supplement that contains botanical ingredients that support thermogenesis (e.g., cayenne pepper, grains of paradise, and EGCG from green tea), like mbg's metabolism+.
In addition to these BAT-activating ingredients, metabolism+ also delivers caffeine from green tea leaves to enhance thermogenic fat burn (aka lipolysis) and veld grape to maintain energy balance and promote cardiometabolic health.*
Morgan Chamberlain is a supplement editor at mindbodygreen. She graduated from Syracuse University with a Bachelor of Science degree in magazine journalism and a minor in nutrition. Chamberlain believes in taking small steps to improve your well-being—whether that means eating more plant-based foods, checking in with a therapist weekly, or spending quality time with your closest friends. When she isn’t typing away furiously at her keyboard, you can find her cooking in the kitchen, hanging outside, or doing a vinyasa flow.