Eating Well

Overeating Sends “Good” Brown Fat Into “Death Spiral”

Turns out that overeating Highest-Calorie-Foodshigh calorie foods is doubly troublesome: not only does it increase the production of “bad” white fat, it also leads to dysfunction in “good” brown fat cells, cells that, when functioning normally, actually burn calories. Futurity reports that the revelation comes from researchers at Boston University, who used experimental models to demonstrate that “over-nutrition” leads to a cellular signaling dysfunction that causes brown fat cells to lose neighboring blood vessels, depriving the cells of oxygen. This, in turn, causes the brown fat cells to lose their mitochondria, which leads to their inability to burn fatty acids and produce heat. Sounds bad, and it is: This collapse, the researchers report, can have far-reaching effects on the development of metabolic conditions, such as diabetes or cardiovascular disease. Or, as one researcher put it: “In addition to the expansion of white fat cells, our study shows that overeating causes brown fat cells to get locked into a death spiral.”

One Comment

  1. I’ve never really give this too much thought, but when you put it like this, it makes perfect sense. I hope this will get me to think more before I continue eating when I know I’m already full.
    Thank you for sharing.

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