What Is Brown Adipose Tissue

While most of the fat tissue in an adult's body is somewhat pale (white adipose tissue), infants tend to have a fair amount of brown adipose tissue (BAT). This type of fat tissue is a little different from white adipose tissue as it contains a lot more blood vessels. This is one reason why it appears darker in color. BAT is especially important for infants to help them maintain their body temperature. When infants are born, they are fairly lean and it is easy for heat to leave their bodies. BAT has the ability to increase some of its metabolic events, which results in the generation of extra heat. BAT is able to uncouple the process of ATP formation via the breakdown of energy nutrients. Although this may seem somewhat "futile" when it comes to making ATP, the molecule that cells use to power most operations, it does allow for the generation of heat which will help maintain the body temperature of the baby. For adults, this may seem like a great way of burning unwanted fat, but this isn't to be, because as babies become children and then teens, the amount of BAT is reduced and becomes almost nonexistent by adulthood.

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