Adipose Tissue. What is it? and What's the difference?

Throughout the human body, there are three types of adipose tissue. White Adipose Tissue (WAT), Brown Adipose Tissue (BAT) and Beige Adipose Tissue. The two primary types are WAT and BAT.

The critical physiological function of WAT is insulation and energy storage. When someone is overweight and has excess WAT depositing in the abdominal cavity and around the organs, this promotes complications and increases the chances of becoming insulin resistance and a type-2 diabetic. White adipose tissue primarily accumulates in the subcutaneous layer (under the skin) and visceral adipose tissue (around the organs).


Brown adipose tissue expends energy, promotes heat production and lipid oxidation due to its high mitochondrial density. This reduces fat accumulation by burning calories through thermogenesis and oxygen consumption overall protecting the body from diet-induced obesity. The more BAT you have, the higher the metabolic rate and the more energy you burn. [ii]

How does WAT contribute to metabolic disease?

If the WAT increases in size, this interferes with the release of fatty acids, contributing to increased blood lipid levels resulting in fat deposits into and around various organs. Something you don't need. The increase in fat deposits impairs the organs' functions, which decreases the mitochondrial activity, impacting the capacity of fat storage and secretion within cells reducing energy expenditure and oxygen consumption. Research and evidence shows this is a contributing factor to metabolic syndrome. [iii]

How do you increase BAT adipose tissue?

Not one thing will increase your BAT. But by doing small lifestyle and dietary changes, including exercise, you can improve your resting energy expenditure.

* Cold therapy increases lipid flow from WAT into BAT increasing mitochondrial action.

* Including some berries, grapes, and peanuts increase resveratrol, reducing fat cells' formation.

* Capsaicin found in chilli is associated with abdominal fat loss and increased fat breakdown for energy.

* Adding turmeric to foods increase molecules of brown fat [iv]

* Intermittent fasting enhances glucose regulation and prevents metabolic dysfunction through diet via the browning of WAT[v]

Small adjustments in habits can reduce the level of subcutaneous, visceral adiposity in overweight people—a combination of lifestyle and dietary interventions that improve metabolic parameters. Changing small things, big things happen, and improved health factors and increased wellness are the outcomes.

[i]Belly fat - Mayo Clinic. (n.d.). Retrieved February 16, 2021, from [ii] Cypess, A. M., & Kahn, C. R. (2010). Brown fat as a therapy for obesity and diabetes. In Current Opinion in Endocrinology, Diabetes and Obesity (Vol. 17, Issue 2, pp. 143–149). NIH Public Access. [iii] Keuper, M. (2019). On the role of macrophages in the control of adipocyte energy metabolism. Endocrine Connections, 8(6), R105–R121. [iv] El Hadi, H., Di Vincenzo, A., Vettor, R., & Rossato, M. (2019). Food Ingredients Involved in White-to-Brown Adipose Tissue Conversion and in Calorie Burning. Frontiers in Physiology, 9(JAN), 1954. [v] Kim, K. H., Kim, Y. H., Son, J. E., Lee, J. H., Kim, S., Choe, M. S., Moon, J. H., Zhong, J., Fu, K., Lenglin, F., Yoo, J. A., Bilan, P. J., Klip, A., Nagy, A., Kim, J. R., Park, J. G., Hussein, S. M. I., Doh, K. O., Hui, C. C., & Sung, H. K. (2017). Intermittent fasting promotes adipose thermogenesis and metabolic homeostasis via VEGF-mediated alternative activation of macrophage. Cell Research, 27(11), 1309–1326.