Boosting Brown Fat Through Diet

Boosting Brown Fat Through Diet


“Boosting Brown Fat Through Diet” Until about 10 years ago,
brown adipose tissue was considered to be biologically active
only in babies and small children generating heat by burning fat,
but now there is no doubt that active brown fat is
present in adult humans, involved in cold-induced increases
in whole-body calorie expenditure, and thereby, the control of body
temperature and how fat we are. In 2013 researchers showed that one
could activate brown adipose tissue if you chill out people
long enough: two hours of cold exposure
every day for six weeks, which can lead to a significant
reduction in body fat. Although they demonstrated the effective
recruitment of human brown fat, it would seem difficult to increase
exposure to cold in daily life. Thankfully our brown fat
can also be activated by some food ingredients
such as capsaicin, the compound that makes
hot peppers hot. Whereas increased physical activity
is usually recommended to increase energy expenditure,
specific food components such as capsaicin are known
to burn off calories and fat. There was a significant rise
in energy expenditure within 30 minutes of eating the
equivalent of a jalapeno pepper. Normally, when we cut down on calories,
our metabolism slows down, undercutting our weight
loss attempts, but sprinkling a third of a teaspoon
of cayenne pepper powder onto our meals counteracts
that metabolic slow down and promotes
fat burning. They wanted to try
giving them more, to try to match some of
the studies done in Asia, but they were working
with Caucasians. There is a difference in maximum
tolerable dose of red chili pepper between Asians
and Caucasians. Take some Japanese women
and you can boost the fat burned after a high fat
meal too, adding over a tablespoon
of red pepper powder. We’ve known for decades that cayenne
pepper increases metabolic rate, but we didn’t
know how. But now we have studies showing
this class of compounds increases energy expenditure in
human individuals with brown fat, but not those
without it, indicating that they increase
expenditure straight off the bat. And there’s all sorts of structurally
similar flavor molecules in other foods like black pepper and ginger we expect
to activate thermogenesis as well, but they haven’t been
directly tested. All these results suggest that
the anti-obesity effects of pepper compounds are based
on the heat generating activity of recruited
brown fat. Thus, repeated ingestion can mimic
the chronic effects of cold exposure without having to
freeze ourselves. Consumption of spicy foods
may help us lose weight, but what about the sensory burn
and pain on our tongues, and sometimes in our stomach
as well as further on down? So are our only two options
for boosting brown fat to freeze our legs
or burn our butts? Arginine-rich foods may also stimulate
brown adipose tissue growth and development through
a variety of mechanisms, which just means eating more
soy foods, seeds, nuts and beans.

66 Replies to “Boosting Brown Fat Through Diet”

  1. Hey Dr. Greger! Great video, educational as always! 
    I was wondering if you can make a video in regards to protein requirements for different activity levels. So for example, what is the optimal minimum protein requirement for an endurance athlete? Optimal minimum protein requirement for a bodybuilder (drug free of course). And optimal minimum protein requirement for a powerlifter. Three different sports and three different goals. I believe there's a misconception as to how much protein we really need. It would be helpful if you can clear this up for us.
    Thanks in advance!

  2. WOW! It's hard to believe many people promote avoiding nuts and seeds because of their high fat content. Thank you so much for the informative video, Dr. Greger! Think I'll be having some walnuts on my salad for lunch today…

  3. I used to use L-Carnitine as a fat burning supplement. Well, I lost weight and sweat like a horse during exercise, too bad my muscle faded away alongside the fat.

  4. Man, we're all trying to find that magic pill so we can eat plenty of junk food and do no exercise, but still be slim. Sorry people, it's not capsaicin. Put down the microwave dinner, put down the TV remote. Eat whole, natural foods, exercise most days the week, and keep some active hobbies. That's it. It's not hard once it becomes habit. Then you won't have to worry about, "what chemical can I ingest that may have a 0.X% effect on some metabolic process this week?"

  5. It's easy enough to make cayenne powder capsules, which would make it easy to get a good dosage. Just take them with a meal because you can't do cayenne on an empty stomach.

  6. Well I must be part Asian then 🙂 because I can eat pretty hot chillies and as to but burning, I find that only happens if there is a lot of fat with the chillies. If I eat the chillies straight or they are in a low fat dish I experience no such things.

  7. Do you think that boosting brown fat through diet (cayenne pepper) is safe for a diabetic being treated with Glipzide?

  8. Hmmm, this is very interesting. Could this mean that people that sleep with the window open when it's cold, have a higher chance of staying thin?

  9. Is there any credible link between stomach cancer and ingesting an excess of chili peppers? And what specifically is quantified as excessive? Thank you.

  10. How many additional kcals of fat can you burn per day by eating capsaicin?

    The activation of the BAT may be significant but is it also relevant?
    Example: I would consider several 100kcal per day relevant, maybe 300kcal which is roughly 1 oz of fat.

    What about the combination of exercising in the cold and consuming capsaicin before?

  11. I'm not doubting the benefits of nuts and beans, I do eat my share. However, I question cold therapy for fat loss. Wouldn't that mean that most people in Alaska, Montana, Greenland and such places (that spend time outdoors) all have lower BMIs?

  12. I have been vegan for 8 weeks. I have been on a calorie restriction eating plan since 2012 so I hope to get to goal weight in 2015, going vegan is my last hope.

  13. Thanks for helping me prove how idiotic everyone i know is with your videos 🙂 sadly none of my friends will watch them for themselves though because they think your voice is monotone but i don't care I'll listen to the truth/facts all day long even if it's from alvin the chipmunk himself

  14. It won't work, cause if one takes too much calories, it's not an exposure and a bit or exercise that will change all those white fat cells into brown fat. Peope want to hear: you won't have to work out and you won't have to cut down in fast food and you will become lean.
    I've lost 20 pounds of belly fat in four months, eating better but not less, exercising almost every day.
    Laziness is the major sin,

  15. Japanese people are notoriously sweet-toothed both now and historically. We get laughed at for our lousy kimchi and curry. I feel bad for the people in that study.

  16. Seems like you could make a purely fat burning hot sauce by mixing cayenne with ACV… and maybe a few other things like garlic powder or something. I think I'm definitely going to have to try that.

  17. This must be partially why I find it easy to stay thin during the cold winter months. I walk 30+ minutes a day, but I don't bundle up too much. I like the chill, oddly enough. And I eat a ton of peanuts, peanut butter, almonds. Plus I LOVE spicy food. Spicy soups, black bean burgers, black bean sloppie joes, tacos, etc! Sriracha + jalapenos and hot chili flakes and cayenne, every day.

    My body must be a veritable furnace.

  18. hahaha. some foolish dude (he wrote a book, the 1 hr a week to workout?? idrememrer) he put himself in iced bathtub daily and other foolish things to attempt to burn the BAT. guess he didn't read enough studies or Dr. Greger. bahaha

  19. Another cool thing about cooking with a lot of cayenne pepper is that my family is less willing to try my food. So, more food for me.

  20. I wonder why he only mentioned Arginin – sources from plants ! All animal – Protein has ten times more – i smell Ideologie…

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