Friday, January 25, 2013

Brown fat and ice skating ...

A paper published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation by Ouellet and others last fall drew quite a bit of new attention to the possible role of brown fat in energy balance and obesity prevention. Humans have two types of fat, brown and white. The white stuff is what people who are overweight and obese have too much of. Brown fat is another issue. Brown fat helps to generate body heat in cold circumstances, and by doing so, burns calories. The study in JCI provides convincing evidence for just that. The study suggests that letting ourselves be exposed to cold temperatures may help to maintain a healthy body weight.
These days, the Dutch are letting themselves be exposed to cold temperatures in big numbers. The ice on many canals is thick enough to skate on. This afternoon we managed to avoid the big crowds to do some great skating.