[–] NeutrinoHalo 0 points 103 points (+103|-0) ago  (edited ago)

Actual scientist here. The article summary which is linked to somehow manages to get the facts straight while simultaneously missing the point of the study. The researchers found a protein that reduces that rate at which brown fat (the kind of fat that makes dark meat the shit) burn fat for thermogenesis (the thing that makes you a mammal) at a slower rate. They found that this protein was present in higher concentrations the higher the BMI of the individual tested.

That last bit is no surprise. Identifying the protein? That was the real science. That brown fat needs to reduce it's thermogenic energy generation rate when you have more body fat was a foregone conclusion. Why? Thermodynamics! The surface area to volume ratio of the human body sets the rate at which you lose heat to the environment. Heat flows out of your body proportionaly to the surface area, and the "reserve" of heat energy is proportional to your total mass, i.e. volume. The lower your surface area/volume ratio, the more slowly you lose heat to the environment.

This matters because as you get fatter, your surface are to volume ratio decreases. Yes you get a bigger surface area, but not as quickly as you gain volume. Think of a sphere: Area ~ r^2 , Volume ~r^3 . Essentially, this means fatter people need less thermogenic energy to maintain their internal body temperature because they lose heat more slowly to the environment. If fatter people had the same thermogenic energy consumption rate as thinner people, they would cook from the inside out because they could not get rid of the waste heat fast enough. So the body has a mechanism to regulate this (doy- we're all mammals). Again, the cool bit is that the scientists found the specific protein that did it, not that it happens at all.

edit: I can spell the word "mammal", I swear.


[–] causuistry [S] 0 points 21 points (+21|-0) ago 

Not scientist here (math major in the theoretical stuff not applied). Thanks for the further explanation.


[–] NeutrinoHalo 0 points 12 points (+12|-0) ago 

My pleasure!


[–] bisaya 0 points 6 points (+6|-0) ago  (edited ago)

can you help with a question related to your post?:

I'm fat and I seem to feel cold much quicker compared to other people, regardless of if they are fat or not. How could this condition be explained by what you just posted?


[–] NeutrinoHalo 0 points 26 points (+26|-0) ago 

Your temperature sensing nerve endings do not respond to the actual temperature, but to temperature differences. If you submerge one hand in hot water, and one in room temperature water, you will be able to tell the difference. The fun part comes when you take the hand you had in hot water (after it becomes acclimatized), and quickly plunge it into the room temperature water alongside your other hand. You will notice the hand that was formerly in hot water now perceives the room temperature water as quite cold!

This is relevant to your question because of the thermal conductivity properties of body fat. Body fat conducts heat more slowly than any other kind of tissue. As a result, if your skin is exposed to a cold external temperatures the heat from inside your body cannot flow outward as quickly. This means your surface skin temperature drops rapidly, making you feel cold more easily.

Note this has nothing to do with your ability to survive extreme cold for long periods of time. Having more body fat will keep you alive longer if, for instance, you fall over board in the north sea. You simply 'feel' cold more quickly.


[–] DimplesMcGee 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

You might want to get tested for hypothyroidism. Symptoms here: http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/long-and-pathetic/


[–] Dirt_ 9 points -2 points (+7|-9) ago 

"Condition" hahaha


[–] Possible 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

So if you're trying to lose weight, spend more time in the cold?


[–] feistylemur 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

Yes but you have to put all that through the lens of "how can I gain absolution for being fat and correct that without any effort whatsoever". If you want to get clicks that is.


[–] SaneGoatiSwear 2 points 6 points (+8|-2) ago 


[–] YourBlueIsMyPurple 0 points 7 points (+7|-0) ago 

Wouldn't this be (weakly) against the perception there? I mean it's still perfectly possible to eat less and lose weight, but I don't think this article would go over well there.

[–] [deleted] 1 points 21 points (+22|-1) ago 



[–] SaneGoatiSwear 0 points 10 points (+10|-0) ago 

i believe fph holds the truth over the circlejerk, but i could be dead fucking wrong on that.

also, their study is about BAT (from actual source)

so the real nugget here is that warming up adipose tissue leads to the breakdown of it. cooling of it leads to the body keeping it and producing more.

or did i read that wrong?

the cited source:


Murine studies have demonstrated that increasing heat production in brown adipose tissue (BAT) can offset obesogenic effects of a high-fat diet (HFD)1, 2, whereas reducing thermogenesis exacerbates them3. The existence of BAT in adult humans has been ‘reconfirmed’ by using modern imaging techniques and tissue biopsies4, 5, 6, increasing the importance of understanding BAT’s physiological regulation. In addition, levels of detectable BAT correlate negatively with age, body mass index (BMI) and diabetes7, and using intermittent cold exposure to increase amounts of BAT is sufficient to increase post-prandial energy expenditure and improve insulin sensitivity8. Collectively, these findings support the hypothesis that thermogenesis in BAT is an important factor contributing to human metabolism. Numerous secreted and circulating factors have been identified to date with the ability to enhance the amount and/or activity of BAT9.


[–] rob_white 3 points -3 points (+0|-3) ago  (edited ago)

Some people can change their opinions based on new information, others can't. Understand it is very difficult for people that have invested so much of who they are in a certain world view to discard that. Better said in this well known quote:

"When a man who is honestly mistaken hears the truth, he will either quit being mistaken, or cease to be honest.".

If this was posted there, there would be mental gymnastics to dismiss it, count on it. I personally do find fat people extremely ugly, I admit I have a bias against them but I don;t hate them, I also know there are certainly issues that make it much harder for some to loss weight than others, so land whales do need to work harder than many. As long as people keep researching this, hopefully they get some help because not only are they doing harm to themselves but putting a burden on our medical facilities.


[–] IdSay 0 points 3 points (+3|-0) ago  (edited ago)

actually, there's ALOT of variables when it comes to fat/adipose tissue

there's white fat, which stores sugar/energy deposits.

there's brown fat, which stores minerals, such as iron, hormones and antiinflamatory compounds. extremely important to maintain a good immune system.

there's visceral fat, which is the internal fat, the one in the organs and under muscles. right now, it's "in" to hate on it. don't be fooled, it's not more dangerous than any other kind. (fuck you livestrong)

there's subcutaneous fat, which is the external fat, only separated from the rest of the world by the skin that holds it together.

also, the body stores two types of fat (variations of brown and white fat) : saturated and unsaturated.

saturated fat have longer carbon chains. it's is far worse at mobilizing, but is also harder and firmer, and better at isolation/body armor.

unsaturated fat have really short carbon chains. it's easier to get rid of as well as gain, but it's squishy and watery.

people can also experience weight loss overnight, due to shrinked fat cells (there's doesn't come more fat cells often, the finite fat cells just binds more tissue), attract water more, so people who have trouble retaining and leading water without a diuretic (example is getting bloated feet often), most often pregnant women and such, may keep looking fat after dieting or training for longer.

another factor of how fat feels, whether it's internal or external in regards of skin and organs, is the collagen and elastin levels in the skin. after sudden weight loss, the belly/abdominal fat will often feel loose, until the stomach skin shrinks into shape again. there are pregnancy creams with elastin and collagen to accelerate this process.

you can also sorta cut this process by "dry carb exercising". disadvantage is it's really unhealthy, high risk of heat stroke, and you feel really thirsty. advantage is less water gathering in the emtied fat cells. which, health wise, isn't a good thing. on the bright side, it highlights the muscles, which is why bodybuilders do it. (as well as tanning and oils. but to each their own).

the quality of your fat depends on what you eat. the more natural the better. natural sugars(especially honey and maple syrup), fat(especially dairy or avocado), carbs(wheats and veggies) and proteins(any meat or bean) create "good fat", with smaller levels of toxins and cortisol (the stress hormone).

bad quality food/compound mimicers like soda, corn syrup, fried food, oils, breading, etcetera.

it's in fact as complicated as muscle cells/tissue/fibers/types. (not to mention the cardiovascular system)

i'm not going to go into detail of genetics or body frame. they have very little to say, you can usually work around it with ease.

neither will i go into things adrenal, liver or thyroid deficiencies, since it's sorta controversial anyways.

or diseases like cysts or calcium balls forming in fat.

but anyways. fat or carbs or even cholesterol isn't "bad". it's in the body for a reason. (like the tonsils, colon, double kidneys and wisdom teeth.) there's big and small cholesterol. none of them are bad. excess is what's dangerous. aka, obesity.

also, on that note: diets are fucking bullshit. juicing, paleo, atkins.

you can accomplish more just by counting calories and cutting down on everything a little. (keep in mind, your metabolism will adjust once it discovers what's wrong, in order to probably refeed, which will break and fuck up your metabolism. tho you can fix it again quite simply. look it up. anyways. it's important to take "cheat days" at least once a week, where you just froth in all kinds of sugary and "unhealthy" (not in the oiled and greased up kind, but in terms of cakes and sweets and such) stuff, in order to keep your metabolism on its toes, and keeping it from readjusting, keeping it in highest gear.)

also, just a note. no, you can't eat all you want when you work out, and you can't lift the the heaviest weight without feeling the tug of a grade 1 muscle tear. also, strength isn't visual, it's neither slow nor fast either, but "big" muscles are just "hypertrophy", which is a subject completely on it's own. likewise fast twitch and slow twitch fibers. (sprinter vs marathoner, basically). (also, cardiovascular/aerobic endurance and muscular/anarobic endurance are quite different). and then there's balance training and flexibility training/form and martial arts drills. but i'm rambling too long. ahem yay fitness!/fatness? (also, jesus christ at plyometrics and calisthenics and isometric traning) (also, look up "anabolic/fight and flight/sympathic mode" and "catabolic/rest and digest/parasympathic mode". it's quite relevant.)

oh also, if you wanna loose weight you gotta draw on your sugar deposits, which is with strength/speed/high intensity short duration training. cardiovascular endurance and muscular endurance is long time low intensity training. and don't over-eat, the body don't need that much protein to build muscle. (also, since muscle weighs more than fat, be prepared to be more likely to sink in water. likewise if you've practised "wolffs law" of bone strengthening.)

oh also, the peripheral nervous system, like any other part, can be trained at efficiently drawing out the potential/heightening quality by doing various stuff. muscle memory essentially. if you once were good at weight lifting or speed punching or certain drills, picking it up again takes shorter time. same if your parents/ancestors have, it gets saved in the dna. it's also the response time from brain to muscle which can help really fast and precise movements and reflexes. it will also strengthen the general nervous efficiency/connection/quality in the entire body, not just locally. which is sorta how it is with all training. in general, the body adapts to be better at the task you put it to, exponentially.