Dukan Diet News: Exercise Turns Bad Fat Cells to Good Ones

We all know that exercise is good for us and that it burns energy helping us to lose weight. What isn’t so widely known is that we have two types of fat cells, white energy storing fat cells and brown energy burning fat cells and these brown fat cells have a closer physical resemblance to muscle rather than fat.

Scientists and researchers are investing a lot of time trying to understand the role of the brown fat cells.  One study has found a correlation between obesity and levels of brown fat cells, the more brown fats cells a person had the lower their BMI.  Another study found that mice without brown fat cells became overweight without overeating.




The white fat cells make up what is normally considered our body fat and these cells are also known as adipose tissue and each cell stores a large droplet of fat.  The picture I found to illustrate this post is a stained slide of adipose tissue. Brown fat cells by comparison are full of mitochondria which is in our bodies to generate body heat by burning fat.

As babies we are born with brown fat to help keep us warm and it was believed that all of these fat cells gradually disappeared but several studies have shown that adults do retain some of these cells and they are found mainly in the neck and upper chest areas.

When we exercise our body produces a recently discovered hormone, irisin that can turn the bad white fat cells into good brown ones.  Irisin also appears to have a role to play in preventing the development of type 2 diabetes as it is believed to have a role in stopping the cellular changes that cause diabetes to develop.

Irisin was named after the Greek Goddess, Iris who was a messenger because it is a chemical messenger, a point which is made by Dr. Anthony Komaroff, in the June 2012 edition of the Harvard Health Letter, when he explains in the June 2012 edition that, “Irisin travels throughout the body in the blood and alters fat cells.”.

The benefits of exercise don’t stop when we stop exercising as the levels of irisin remain raised after we have stopped exercising so that it continues to have its beneficial effect of turning our bad fat cells into good ones and helping to prevent type 2 diabetes.

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