People who want to lose weight can start embracing the winter months after a new study found that low temperatures and elevated vitamin A promote fat burning.
The study, published last week in the journal Molecular Metabolism, examined the effect of low temperatures and vitamin A on the conversion of white fat, where excess calories are stored, into brown fat, which “stimulates fat burning and heat generation.”
More than 90% of human body fat is white fat, which is stored in the abdomen, lower and upper thighs, the study said.
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According to the findings, cold temperatures increase the levels of vitamin A, which helps to convert white into brown fat, thus stimulating fat burning. Vitamin A stores are stored mostly in the liver. After the cold was applied to the mice in the study, an increase in “levels of vitamin A and its retinol-binding blood carrier” led to a higher rate of fat burning as the white fat turned brown as the body tried to keep warm.
Alternatively, when the “retinol-binding protein” transporting vitamin A was blocked in mice, the fat was not “brown” and the mice were unable to protect themselves from the cold.
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The study is promising in finding solutions to tackle weight gain and obesity. Although the study’s lead researcher, Florian Kiefer of the Medical University of Vienna, warns against taking large amounts of vitamin A supplements to lose weight.
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“Our results show that vitamin A plays an important role in adipose tissue function and affects global energy metabolism. However, this is not an argument for consuming large amounts of vitamin A supplements if not prescribed, as it is crucial vitamin And to be transported to the right cells at the right time, “explains the researcher at MedUni Vienna.” We have discovered a new mechanism by which vitamin A regulates lipid burning and heat generation in cold conditions. This can help us develop new therapeutic interventions that use this specific mechanism. “