Nutritional Regulation of Human Brown Adipose Tissue

Karla J. Suchacki, Roland H. Stimson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The recent identification of brown adipose tissue in adult humans offers a new strategy to in-crease energy expenditure to treat obesity and associated metabolic disease. While white adipose tissue (WAT) is primarily for energy storage, brown adipose tissue (BAT) is a thermogenic organ that increases energy expenditure to generate heat. BAT is activated upon cold exposure and improves insulin sensitivity and lipid clearance, highlighting its beneficial role in metabolic health in humans. This review provides an overview of BAT physiology in conditions of overnutrition (obesity and associated metabolic disease), undernutrition and in conditions of altered fat dis-tribution such as lipodystrophy. We review the impact of exercise, dietary macronutrients and bioactive compounds on BAT activity. Finally, we discuss the therapeutic potential of dietary manipulations or supplementation to increase energy expenditure and BAT thermogenesis. We conclude that chronic nutritional interventions may represent a useful non-pharmacological means to enhance BAT mass and activity to aid weight loss and/ or improve metabolic health.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1748
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 21 May 2021

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Brown adipose tissue
  • obesity
  • type 2 diabetes
  • dietary (calorie) restriction
  • nutrition
  • energy expenditure


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