It's a well known fact that ice-packs help reduce inflammation and relieve pain. But now, scientists have discovered that they can also help with weight-loss. Using an ice-pack on flabby areas like the thighs and stomach can help burn calories. According to the study which appeared in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, exposure to cold temperatures can convert white fat tissue from the thighs and belly to beige fat. (More: A cooler environment can help with weight-loss)The body has two kinds of fat tissue: brown fat and white fat. The primary purpose of brown fat is to burn glucose and energy to generate heat in the body. That's why brown fat is often called 'good' fat, as it helps burn and not store calories. White fat is what's stored in your thighs, stomach, hips and works as an energy reserve.American scientists have found that when white fat is exposed to colder temperatures it takes on the characteristics of brown fat. The tissue created in this process is called beige fat. According to Philip A. Kern, University of Kentucky's school of Medicine in Lexington "We wanted to investigate whether human adults had the ability to transform some white fat deposits into beige fat when they were exposed to cold. Browning fat tissue would be an excellent defense against obesity. It would result in the body burning extra calories rather than converting them into additional fat tissue."
Researchers analysed belly fat tissue samples from 55 people to see if the tissue samples taken in winter showed more evidence of browning activity than those taken in summer. The study shows why people are more likely to crave fatty foods during winter months as more white fat calories are used to keep warm your body warm. It also found that obese people could not convert white fat to beige fat like thin people. Kern concluded by saying that "Our findings indicate inflammation can hinder the conversion of white to beige fat."With inputs from IANS
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