The main difference between White and Brown Adipose Tissue is the presence or absence of a small amount of brown fat cells. There are two types of brown fat: brite (or “brown”) and reparable (or “white”). Both types have many similarities, but there are some differences.
Brittle Fat Cells – These are brown fat cells that are damaged due to overuse or other causes. They make up less than 1% of total body weight, but they play a key role in keeping us warm when we’re cold. When you exercise, your muscles burn off calories through oxidation of fatty acids and glucose from your blood.
Your liver converts these carbohydrates into glycogen which stores energy for later use. When you don’t get enough food, your body turns to storing fat instead. So, if you lose too much weight, this extra storage of fat will contribute to obesity and metabolic syndrome.
Reparable Fat Cells – Reparable brown fat cells are able to regenerate themselves after being injured or burned down during exercise. If you consume a lot of food or are otherwise unable to do much physical activity, your body will turn up the heat by increasing the number or size of your reparable fat cells.
What is the difference between brown and white fat?
Many cell types in the human body have been identified as brown fat cells. They are all considered “brite” (burned-out) or “beige” (in between burned out and white) depending on how they function. As such, they have a brown tint in their cytoplasm. They are usually smaller than average fat cells and their shape is similar to that of a star or pod.
In general, brown fat cells contain many small cytoplasts, have many mitochondria, and burn many more calories per gram than other types of fat cells. Also, these cells can grow during times of inactivity, which means they play an important role in the way our bodies store energy as fat.
Their purpose is to prevent weakness during sleep or periods of not eating. They also play a role in preventing obesity and malnutrition by burning off excess calories. Just like other body cells, brown fat cells die and are replaced by new cells.
The most significant difference between brown fat cells and white fat cells is that the first turn glucose into heat rather than storing it as fat. In fact, they burn up to 20% of the energy consumed.
There are few different types of white fat cells in the human body. They are all usually larger than average and store excessive calories as fat. Their main role is to maintain long-term energy reserves.
There are several types of white fat cell. They are all similar in terms of their appearance, but they differ in their functions.
Excess fat cells are usually the result of overeating or an inactive lifestyle. They can be surgically removed by liposuction and sometimes dieting and exercise can eliminate some of them.
White fat cells store excess fat for later use and regulate the body temperature.
The average human body contains about 40 billion fat cells. Each one is about 75% water and 25% fat.
The size of fat cells can vary. They are able to increase in size as we grow older and lay down more fat. They can decrease in size if we lose weight or go through a period of not eating.
The body can produce new fat cells in order to provide a longer energy storage period. These new cells replace the role of the inadequate fat cells which have been removed.
Fat is made up of three main elements:
Stored triglycerides (a type of fat), cholesterol, and enough white blood cells to fight off infection.
Fat cells store excess calories as triglycerides. Typically stored in the form of fatty acids, this energy source is used when food isn’t readily available. Fat cells can grow in size to provide more energy storage or shrink in size in times of need.
The average adult body contains about 30 billion fat cells. In a healthy person, fat cells are continually created and broken down to provide a constant source of energy.
Fat cells can be categorized into two types: white fat cells and brown fat cells.
The primary role of brown fat cells is to create heat by burning excess calories. They play a vital role in maintaining the body’s ideal temperature.
They are located throughout the body; however, most are found clustered around the spine, between the shoulder blades, and along the neck and head area. They are more commonly known as the “goose bump” effect.
They are stimulated by cold temperatures and physically active. They are larger in size and contain more energy than white fat cells.
White fat cells are the main type of fat cell in the human body. They are the body’s long-term storage units for surplus calories. They can also be created and broken down fairly quickly as the body needs to meet its energy demands.
Fat cells are created in the fetus and adult white fat cells never change in size. As a person ages, their body creates fewer fat cells and thus older people have less fat than younger people in the same weight range.
There is no connection between eating fat and having more fat cells although eating too much of any food can lead to obesity.
Healthy people can have up to 30 billion fat cells with no adverse effects. Obese people often have over 100 billion fat cells. Numerous fat cells, regardless of size, create weak joints, muscles, bones, and organs because the cells draw nutrients away from those areas.
The most common cause of weak and broken bones is a condition called osteoporosis. It affects mostly women after menopause due to low estrogen levels. Osteoporosis causes brittle bones that are prone to breaking.
Arthritis is another disease caused by too many fat cells. The excess weight put on joints weakens them to the point that they become inflamed. Arthritis sufferers experience pain and restricted movement in the affected area.
Metabolic syndrome is a condition that increases the risk of stroke, heart disease, and diabetes. It occurs when an excessive amount of fat is stored in the abdomen. Abdominal fat is linked to high levels of “bad” cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood.
Fat cells secrete a variety of hormones and other substances that affect the entire body. Overweight people often suffer from mood swings and depression caused by these chemicals.
Many “fitness advisors” will tell people to “love your body” and accept the way you look. This is poor advice. It is nearly impossible to lose weight unless you want to change.
Genetics plays a factor in how easy or hard it is for someone to lose weight. There are some overweight people who can eat whatever they want and not gain a pound while others have to work out daily and watch what they eat to maintain a healthy weight.
It’s important to remember that our bodies were designed for survival. Food scarcity has been a fact of life for much of our existence. Our bodies are programmed to store fat in case the next meal isn’t available.
This is why weight loss is so difficult. Your body fights you every step of the way. You can’t beat your body into submission. Instead, you must outsmart it.
Finding the right balance of nutrients and calories is difficult but not impossible.