Exercise changes bad fat to good

Everybody knows that working out gives you tons of health benefits. But now we can add something else to this list. According to a new study, exercising actually turns white fat into brown fat.

Let’s figure out first, what is white fat and what’s brown. Brown fat (it is actually brown in color) burns calories, improves insulin and helps control the blood sugar. Babies are plump with brown fat, but as we age we lose it. White fat is the most prevalent fat in our body. And it is also the largest energy reserve. Basically, we need both types of fat, but more brown than white would be preferably.

During the latest research, published by the American Journal of Physiology, white fat was taken from women who had recently had breast reduction surgery and brown fat from people who had surgery to treat kidney cancer. All the cells were soaked in a human hormone irisin (the “exercise hormone”) for four days. Throughout those four days, the researchers were checking levels of protein called UCP1, because it is known to contribute to the turning of white fat into brown.

The researchers found that the cells that were exposed to the irisin produced more UCP1 and were metabolically active, which means burned more calories. The stem cells in the fat tissue became a type of cell that turns to bone. The tissue treated with irisin had 40% fewer mature fat cells than tissue untouched by the hormone. And the irisin had no effect on the brown fat.

Bottom line: exercise makes us healthier in a very big way. So if you’re still thinking whether or not you should start exercising, now is the time. Your body will thank you on so many levels.

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