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7 Supplements to Increase Brown Fat & Boost Weight Loss

6 min read
a bottle of a supplement for increasing brown fat, supplements to increase brown fat
Melissa Mitri post Reviewer Melissa Mitri post Reviewer
The article is verified by Melissa Mitri
MS, Registered Dietitian, Former President of CT Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics

Table of Contents

In the quest for optimal health and wellness, we often focus on what we can remove or reduce from our bodies. However, there’s one type of body fat that you might actually want more of – and it’s called brown fat. 

Unlike its notorious cousin, white fat, which stores excess calories and contributes to obesity, brown fat burns energy and plays a crucial role in our body’s metabolism. [1] In this article, we will discuss brown fat, its benefits, how it works, and how certain supplements can help increase its presence in your body.

What is Brown Fat?

Brown fat, also known as brown adipose tissue (BAT), is a type of body fat activated when you get cold. Other types of fat in the human body are white and beige.

Brown fat burns energy and generates heat, whereas white fat stores calories, and beige fat combines the functions of both. [2] It’s named for its brown color, which comes from its high mitochondrial content – the “powerhouses” of cells.

In newborns, brown fat is primarily found in the back, neck, and shoulders. As children and adolescents grow, brown fat becomes more dispersed throughout the body. In adults, brown fat is typically located in the neck, kidneys, adrenal glands, heart (aorta), and chest (mediastinum).

Functions and Benefits of Brown Fat

Brown fat plays a significant role in regulating body temperature and helps warm you up when the temperature drops.

Research suggests that brown fat may also improve insulin sensitivity, which can help prevent diabetes. [3] 

Brown fat burns more calories than white fat, making it a potential ally in weight management and even obesity treatment. [4]

Brown Fat vs. White Fat

While both brown and white fat are essential for health, they serve different functions. Brown fat is metabolically active, where it regularly burns calories to produce heat. White fat, on the other hand, stores excess calories for future energy needs.

People that are leaner tend to have more brown adipose tissue and, therefore, may have a reduced risk of certain metabolic conditions. [5]

How To Increase Brown Fat Naturally?

So, if brown fat is so beneficial for your health, can you increase its levels in your body? 

Yes, it is possible. However, the mechanics behind the process lies in ‘browning’ white fat rather than in actually gaining brown fat. So the correct question is, “How to turn white fat into brown fat naturally?”

The transformation of white fat into brown fat, a process known as “browning,” is related to metabolism. Certain stimuli can trigger white fat cells to behave more like brown fat cells. 

This process increases the number of mitochondria in the white fat cells, allowing them to burn energy and produce heat, much like brown fat.

Natural Ways to Boost Brown Fat

There are several ways to boost brown fat naturally through diet, exercise, and your environment.

Foods that Activate Brown Fat Cells

Certain foods and spices have been found to stimulate the browning of white fat cells. These include turmeric, green tea, chili peppers, and fish oil, all of which have compounds that can increase brown fat development and activity.

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Exercise

Moderate exercise can stimulate the production of a hormone called irisin, which promotes the browning of white fat. [6] 

Cold Exposure

Additionally, exposure to cold temperatures can increase brown fat activity, as the body burns energy to produce heat and maintain body temperature. [7]

7 Best Supplements to Increase Brown Fat

While lifestyle changes can certainly help increase brown fat, certain brown fat supplements can give your body an extra boost. Here’s a comparison of supplements that have been found to stimulate the development and activity of brown fat [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14]:

infographics illustrating 7 supplements to increase brown fat like Curcumin, EGCG, Capsaicin, 
Omega-3 Fatty Acids,
Resveratrol, Berberine, and Retinoic acid
SupplementSourceBenefits
CurcuminTurmericAnti-inflammatory and anti-obesity effects, may increase brown fat development
EGCGGreen TeaPromotes the browning of fat cells, supports weight loss, improves metabolic markers
CapsaicinChili PeppersIncreases energy expenditure, enhances fat oxidation, increases brown fat development
Omega-3 Fatty AcidsFish OilStimulates mitochondrial and thermogenic (i.e., calorie-burning)  activity in brown fat cells
ResveratrolRed GrapesMay cause fat cell browning, induces thermogenic activity
BerberineGoldensealStimulates brown fat activity, induces development of beige fat
Retinoic acidFoods rich in vitamin A like carrots, sardines, fish oilsPromotes browning of fat cells, improves mitochondrial function within brown fat cells

Always consult your healthcare provider before starting any new supplement regimen, especially if you have underlying health conditions or are taking other medications.

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Brown Fat and Supplements FAQ

In this section, we’ll address some of the most common questions people have about brown fat and the use of supplements to increase it.

What Is The Difference Between Brown Fat And White Fat?

Brown fat and white fat serve different functions in the body. Brown fat burns calories to produce heat, while white fat stores excess calories for future energy needs.

Can I Increase My Brown Fat Naturally?

Yes, certain lifestyle changes such as regular exercise, exposure to cold temperatures, and adding certain foods to your diet, like turmeric, green tea, chili peppers, and fish oil, can help increase brown fat.

Are There Side Effects To Taking Supplements To Increase Brown Fat?

As with any supplement, there can be potential side effects. It’s always best to consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new supplement regimen.

Wrapping Up

As we continue to learn more about brown fat and its potential benefits, it’s clear that this special type of body fat has a significant role to play in our overall health and wellness. 

From helping to regulate body temperature to improving metabolic health, brown fat is a powerful ally in helping support a healthier weight.

The use of supplements to increase brown fat is a promising area of research. While we’ve made significant strides in understanding what may increase brown fat in the body,, there’s still much to learn.

In the meantime, incorporating brown fat-boosting supplements, making dietary changes, and adopting lifestyle habits that promote brown fat activation can all contribute to better health. As always, it’s important to consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new supplement regimen.

Remember, the journey to better health is a marathon, not a sprint. Every small change you make can add up to big results over time.

Disclaimer This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!



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