My Cart


science nutrition blog

science nutrition <strong>blog</strong>

By Steve Blechman


It was reported last week in the prestigious journal Nature Communications on June 3, 2021, that boosting brown fat might fight type 2 diabetes and fatty liver disease. And in the May 24 issue of the International Journal of Molecular Sciences, the possible protective role of brown fat in prostate cancer was reported. And a new study appearing in the December 2021 issue of the journal Adipocyte has reported that brown fat is a “novel therapeutic strategy for obesity.”

For the past 5 years, I have written many articles on the health and fat-loss benefits of brown adipose tissue (brown fat). The widely held belief that all body fat is bad is currently being heavily scrutinized, due to the recent discovery of a different type of fat in humans known as brown fat. This type of body fat can actually burn off energy in the form of heat by a process known as thermogenesis, which can ultimately reduce overall body fat.

The body has two forms of fat: white fat, or unwanted fat that can lie directly underneath the skin, and brown fat, which often is found in the shoulder blade region or the neck. Unlike white fat, brown fat is the good fat as it can help burn more calories. The more brown fat you have, the more calories you burn. Brown fat is often referred to as "the fat that makes you thin."

Brown fat is packed with mitochondria loaded with UCP-1, the protein that uncouples fat burning with ATP (energy) production instead of converting the energy into heat via thermogenesis, making the mitochondria effectively the furnace of the cell. The emergence of brown fat as a readily available fat-burning furnace is revolutionary, but like any fire, it requires the proper kindling materials. The ability to get lean by producing extra brown fat, or enhancing the activity of existing brown fat, represents a promising way to burn fat and lose weight.

Several landmark discoveries and approaches to enhancing brown fat function are being explored at major research centers and universities worldwide, with great excitement. Brown fat research is a hot topic today and in 2021.

Research has found that exposure to cold temperature (65 degrees Fahrenheit) and consumption of spicy foods such as capsaicin and capsinoids found in chili peppers can activate brown fat. Also the spices Grains of Paradise, ginger and cinnamon. Plus, research has found that caffeine and coffee can also increase brown fat, as well virgin olive oil and polyphenols found in grapes, grape skins and other fruits. And the sleeping aid melatonin. Unfortunately, recent research has shown that the dietary supplement Nicotinamide Riboside (NR) is not effective for increasing brown fat in the body (in vivo) of humans or for weight loss.

It was also reported in ScienceDaily on January 4, 2021 that “A new study in Nature offers strong evidence: among over 52,000 participants, those who had detectable brown fat were less likely than their peers to suffer cardiac and metabolic conditions ranging from type 2 diabetes to coronary artery disease, which is the leading cause of death in the United States.” 

The Nature report acknowledged that individuals with more brown fat had lower risk of type 2 diabetes, elevated blood lipids, cardiovascular disease, cerebral vascular disease, congestive heart failure and hypertension.

“The study, by far the largest of its kind in humans, confirms and expands the health benefits of brown fat suggested by previous studies. For the first time, it reveals a link to lower risk of certain conditions,” says Paul Cohen, the Albert Resnick, M.D., Assistant Professor and senior attending physician at The Rockefeller University Hospital. “These findings make us more confident about the potential of targeting brown fat for therapeutic benefit.” 

“Large-scale studies of brown fat, however, have been practically impossible because this tissue shows up only on PET scans, a special type of medical imaging.”

“In collaboration with Heiko Schoder and Andreas Wibmer at Memorial Sloan Kettering, the researchers reviewed 130,000 PET scans from more than 52,000 patients and found the presence of brown fat in nearly 10 percent of individuals.” 

“The team plans to further study the biology of brown fat, including by looking for genetic variants that may explain why some people have more of it than others -- potential first steps toward developing pharmacological ways to stimulate brown fat activity to treat obesity and related conditions.”

Over the last few years, I’ve launched AML™ THERMO HEAT®, the most scientifically advanced brown fat and thermogenic supplement line ever developed! This new brown fat revolution in weight loss is the focus of the book Thermo Heat™ Weight Loss Revolution by Michael J. Rudolph, Ph.D. that includes the foreword by Daniel L. Friedman, MD and Eugene B. Friedman, M.D. You can click the link to order on Amazon here published by Advanced Research Media, Inc. You can also get a PDF version here


©Published by from Advanced Research Media, Inc. 2020

©Reprinted with permission from Advanced Research Media, Inc.




  1. Giving brown fat a boost to fight type 2 diabetes. UT Southwestern Medical Center. June 4, 2021. Medical Xpress
  1. Gallardo-Montejano, V.I., Yang, C., Hahner, L. et al. Perilipin 5 links mitochondrial uncoupled respiration in brown fat to healthy white fat remodeling and systemic glucose tolerance. Nat Commun 12, 3320, June 3, 2021.
  1. Van Schaik L, Kettle C, Green R, Irving HR, Rathner JA. Effects of Caffeine on Brown Adipose Tissue Thermogenesis and Metabolic Homeostasis: A Review. Front Neurosci. 2021 Feb 4;15:621356. doi: 10.3389/fnins.2021.621356. PMID: 33613184; PMCID: PMC7889509.
  1. Duarte L, Gasaly N, Poblete-Aro C, Uribe D, Echeverria F, Gotteland M, Garcia-Diaz DF. Polyphenols and their anti-obesity role mediated by the gut microbiota: a comprehensive review. Rev Endocr Metab Disord. 2021 Jun;22(2):367-388. doi: 10.1007/s11154-020-09622-0. Epub 2021 Jan 2. PMID: 33387285.
  1. Yoneshiro T, Matsushita M, Sugita J, Aita S, Kameya T, Sugie H, Saito M. Prolonged Treatment with Grains of Paradise (Aframomum melegueta) Extract Recruits Adaptive Thermogenesis and Reduces Body Fat in Humans with Low Brown Fat Activity. J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo). 2021;67(2):99-104. doi: 10.3177/jnsv.67.99. PMID: 33952741.
  1. Monfort-Pires M, U-Din M, Nogueira GA, de Almeida-Faria J, Sidarta-Oliveira D, Sant'Ana MR, De Lima-Júnior JC, Cintra DE, de Souza HP, Ferreira SRG, Sapienza MT, Virtanen KA, Velloso LA. Short Dietary Intervention with Olive Oil Increases Brown Adipose Tissue Activity in Lean but not Overweight Subjects. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2021 Jan 23;106(2):472-484. doi: 10.1210/clinem/dgaa824. PMID: 33180910.
  1. Álvarez-Artime A, García-Soler B, Sainz RM, Mayo JC. Emerging Roles for Browning of White Adipose Tissue in Prostate Cancer Malignant Behaviour. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 May 24;22(11):5560. doi: 10.3390/ijms22115560. PMID: 34074045. 
  1. Cheng L, Wang J, Dai H, Duan Y, An Y, Shi L, Lv Y, Li H, Wang C, Ma Q, Li Y, Li P, Du H, Zhao B. Brown and beige adipose tissue: a novel therapeutic strategy for obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus. Adipocyte. 2021 Dec;10(1):48-65. doi: 10.1080/21623945.2020.1870060. PMID: 33403891; PMCID: PMC7801117.
  1. Becher T, Palanisamy S, Kramer DJ, Eljalby M, Marx SJ, Wibmer AG, Butler SD, Jiang CS, Vaughan R, Schöder H, Mark A, Cohen P. Brown adipose tissue is associated with cardiometabolic health. Nat Med. 2021 Jan;27(1):58-65. doi: 10.1038/s41591-020-1126-7. Epub 2021 Jan 4. PMID: 33398160.
  1. Suchacki, Karla J.; Stimson, Roland H. 2021. "Nutritional Regulation of Human Brown Adipose Tissue" Nutrients 13, no. 6: 1748. 
  1. Irandoost P, Lotfi Yagin N, Namazi N, Keshtkar A, Farsi F, Mesri Alamdari N, Vafa M. The effect of Capsaicinoids or Capsinoids in red pepper on thermogenesis in healthy adults: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Phytother Res. 2021 Mar;35(3):1358-1377. doi: 10.1002/ptr.6897. Epub 2020 Oct 15. PMID: 33063385.
  1. An update on brown adipose tissue biology: a discussion of recent findings. Rafael C. Gaspar, José R. Pauli, Gerald I. Shulman, and Vitor R. Muñoz. American Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology and Metabolism 2021 320:3, E488-E495 
  1. Li X, Lu HY, Jiang XW, Yang Y, Xing B, Yao D, Wu Q, Xu ZH, Zhao QC. Cinnamomum cassia extract promotes thermogenesis during exposure to cold via activation of brown adipose tissue. J Ethnopharmacol. 2021 Feb 10;266:113413. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2020.113413. Epub 2020 Sep 24. PMID: 32980484. 
  1. Choi Y, Yu L. Natural Bioactive Compounds as Potential Browning Agents in White Adipose Tissue. Pharm Res. 2021 Apr;38(4):549-567. doi: 10.1007/s11095-021-03027-7. Epub 2021 Mar 30. PMID: 33783666; PMCID: PMC8082541.
  1. Shams, Ramsha; Drasites, Kelsey P.; Zaman, Vandana; Matzelle, Denise; Shields, Donald C.; Garner, Dena P.; Sole, Christopher J.; Haque, Azizul; Banik, Narendra L. 2021. The Pathophysiology of Osteoporosis after Spinal Cord Injury, Int. J. Mol. Sci. 22, no. 6: 3057.
  1. Maliszewska K, Kretowski A. Brown Adipose Tissue and Its Role in Insulin and Glucose Homeostasis. Int J Mol Sci. 2021;22(4):1530. Published 2021 Feb 3. doi:10.3390/ijms22041530
  1. Payab M, Abedi M, Foroughi Heravani N, Hadavandkhani M, Arabi M, Tayanloo-Beik A, Sheikh Hosseini M, Gerami H, Khatami F, Larijani B, Abdollahi M, Arjmand B. Brown adipose tissue transplantation as a novel alternative to obesity treatment: a systematic review. Int J Obes (Lond). 2021 Jan;45(1):109-121. doi: 10.1038/s41366-020-0616-5. Epub 2020 Jun 4. PMID: 32499525. 
  1. Goubern M, Yazbeck J, Senault C, Portet R. Non-shivering thermogenesis and brown adipose tissue activity in essential fatty acid deficient rats. Arch Int Physiol Biochim. 1990 Aug;98(4):193-9. doi: 10.3109/13813459009113977. PMID: 1707615. 
  1. Bazyar H, Zare Javid A, Bavi Behbahani H, Moradi F, Moradi Poode B, Amiri P. Consumption of melatonin supplement improves cardiovascular disease risk factors and anthropometric indices in type 2 diabetes mellitus patients: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Trials. 2021 Mar 25;22(1):231. doi: 10.1186/s13063-021-05174-z. PMID: 33766084; PMCID: PMC7995760. 
  1. Genario R, Cipolla-Neto J, Bueno AA, Santos HO. Melatonin supplementation in the management of obesity and obesity-associated disorders: A review of physiological mechanisms and clinical applications. Pharmacol Res. 2021 Jan;163:105254. doi: 10.1016/j.phrs.2020.105254. Epub 2020 Oct 17. PMID: 33080320.
  1. Sentis SC, Oelkrug R, Mittag J. Thyroid hormones in the regulation of brown adipose tissue thermogenesis. Endocr Connect. 2021 Feb;10(2):R106-R115. doi: 10.1530/EC-20-0562. PMID: 33491659; PMCID: PMC7983518. 
  1. Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne. Bile acids trigger satiety in the brain. ScienceDaily, 24 May 2021. 
  1. Nascimento EBM, Moonen MPB, Remie CME, Gariani K, Jörgensen JA, Schaart G, Hoeks J, Auwerx J, van Marken Lichtenbelt WD, Schrauwen P. Nicotinamide Riboside Enhances In Vitro Beta-adrenergic Brown Adipose Tissue Activity in Humans. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2021 Apr 23;106(5):1437-1447. doi: 10.1210/clinem/dgaa960. PMID: 33524145. 
  1. Rockefeller University. Study of 50,000 people finds brown fat may protect against numerous chronic diseases. ScienceDaily, 4 January 2021.>.
  1. UT Southwestern Medical Center. Giving brown fat a boost to fight type 2 diabetes: Increasing a protein concentrated in brown adipose tissue remodels white adipose tissue to lower diabetes risk, study suggests. ScienceDaily, 4 June 2021.>.
  1. Fu P, Zhu R, Jia J, Hu Y, Wu C, Cieszczyk P, Holmberg HC, Gong L. Aerobic exercise promotes the functions of brown adipose tissue in obese mice via a mechanism involving COX2 in the VEGF signaling pathway. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2021 Jun 3;18(1):56. doi: 10.1186/s12986-021-00581-0. PMID: 34082784; PMCID: PMC8176720.
  1. Loeliger RC, Maushart CI, Gashi G, Senn JR, Felder M, Becker AS, Müller J, Balaz M, Wolfrum C, Burger IA, Betz MJ. Relation of diet-induced thermogenesis to brown adipose tissue activity in healthy men. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2021 Jan 1;320(1):E93-E101. doi: 10.1152/ajpendo.00237.2020. Epub 2020 Nov 23. PMID: 33225717. 
  1. Pinckard KM, Shettigar VK, Wright KR, Abay E, Baer LA, Vidal P, Dewal RS, Das D, Duarte-Sanmiguel S, Hernández-Saavedra D, Arts PJ, Lehnig AC, Bussberg V, Narain NR, Kiebish MA, Yi F, Sparks LM, Goodpaster BH, Smith SR, Pratley RE, Lewandowski ED, Raman SV, Wold LE, Gallego-Perez D, Coen PM, Ziolo MT, Stanford KI. A Novel Endocrine Role for the BAT-Released Lipokine 12,13-diHOME to Mediate Cardiac Function. Circulation. 2021 Jan 12;143(2):145-159. doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.120.049813. Epub 2020 Oct 27. PMID: 33106031; PMCID: PMC7856257. 
  1. Santhanam P, Rowe SP, Solnes LB, Quainoo B, Ahima RS. A systematic review of imaging studies of human brown adipose tissue. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2021 Feb 18. doi: 10.1111/nyas.14579. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33604891. 
  1. Gavaldà-Navarro A, Villarroya J, Cereijo R, Giralt M, Villarroya F. The endocrine role of brown adipose tissue: An update on actors and actions. Rev Endocr Metab Disord. 2021 Mar 12. doi: 10.1007/s11154-021-09640-6. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33712997.