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Could Mulberry Extract Be the Elusive Holy Grail of Obesity Cures?

The secret to safely and naturally curing obesity may just be found in the fruits and leaves of a tree native to central Asia but commonly planted in Northeastern United States.

As obesity spreads its fingers far and wide, scientists scramble to find an easy solution that can promote weight loss and help alleviate the health problems associated with being overweight. They may just have found the solution.

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Researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences have discovered that mulberry extract taken from its fruits and leaves contains an antioxidant compound that promotes the creation of brown adipose tissue (BAT). Also known as brown fat, BAT was once hailed the holy grail of fighting obesity.

That compound is rutin, a bioflavonoid found in apple skins and buckwheat bran. It is vastly abundant in mulberry extract, making it a potentially powerful supplement that can not only reverse obesity but address the underlying weight-related problems as well, such as diabetes, cardiovascular problems, and even some forms of cancer.

Rutin does this by activating brown fat, a beneficial type of fat that boosts your metabolism, improves your energy, regulates blood sugar levels, reduces triglycerides, and strengthens your immune system.

“The beneficial effects of rutin on BAT-mediated metabolic improvement have evoked a substantial interest in the potential treatment for obesity and its related diseases,” says one of the researchers, Wan-Zhu Jin of the Institute of Zoology at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing.

What is Brown Fat?

Brown fat is one of the two main types of fat cells. As opposed to white fat, which sits right below your skin (subcutaneous) and around your internal organs (visceral), brown fat is far less prevalent in adult humans, though we had lots of them when we were babies. However, it is a lot more beneficial, and its activation could possibly be the key to fast, healthy weight loss.

In more ways than one, brown fat acts more like muscle tissue than fat. Earlier studies have shown that brown fat activation in obese adults led to the natural reduction of white fat. This, in turn, helps decrease your risk for major health problems, including diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and heart attack.

Brown fat has also been shown to burn more energy than plain, old white fat. This is thanks to the existence of mitochondria, also known as the power house of the cell, in brown fat cells.

When you are exposed to cool temperatures, brown fat works to keep your body temperature up and help you survive the cold. Polar bears and other Arctic animals, for example, have an ample amount of brown fat to keep them warm during hibernation.

Experts also believe that brown fat can directly reduce your triglyceride and cholesterol levels by taking triglycerides straight from the bloodstream to use as fuel.

Lastly, a new study shows brown fat can help regulate blood sugar and minimize risk for type 2 diabetes. Researchers from Stockholm University in Sweden have found that brown fat cells can extract sugar directly from the blood and use it to power muscles, thus quickly reducing blood sugar and preventing dreaded insulin spikes.

Mulberry Extract Can Activate Brown Fat

Unlike babies and polar bears, adult humans have only a small amount of brown fat in their bodies. The exact spot where it is found is different from every person, but experts believe most people have brown fat in the neck, shoulders, and chest.

And while exposing yourself to low temperatures is one effective way to activate brown fat, it isn’t a very comfortable thing to do. Here is where taking a dose of mulberry extract or drinking mulberry tea can become extremely helpful.

To explore how mulberry extract works to combat obesity, the researchers supplemented the diets of genetically obese mice and mice with diet-induced obesity with 1 mg of rutin, the antioxidant in mulberry extract that is said to activate brown fat.

The results show that rutin mimics low temperatures to activate brown fat, which then intensifies its fuel-burning capacity to burn more energy and boost metabolism.

Furthermore, the researchers discovered that rutin encourages the formation of beige fat, which is white fat that acts like brown fat.

How to Increase Brown Fat Right Now

While you may be tempted to stock up on mulberry fruits and teas right away, it’s important to remember that the study was done on laboratory mice. We have yet to see the results of ingesting mulberry extract on actual humans.

However, it is safe to say that you can go ahead and work on activating your brown fat reserves right now. In the future, if mulberry extract proves to be effective on brown fat activation in humans, perhaps you can add a mulberry extract supplement to your diet.

For now, these are the best ways to activate brown fat and create more beige fat.

· Turn down your thermostat. As research has shown, exposing yourself to colder temperatures (around 63 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit) helps activate brown fat and lets you burn a couple hundred calories more each day.

· Get up and move. Exercise doesn’t only help regulate the hormones that control your body’s ability to build muscle and burn fat. It also increases brown fat activity that can contribute more to boosting your metabolic abilities.

· Get lots of good sleep. People who have higher amounts of melatonin, thus have better, longer sleep, have more brown fat activity than people who don’t get enough good sleep.

· Eat only until you’re full. Studies show that eating until you’re full but not overeating strengthens specific brain cells that regulate the actions of the hunger hormones leptin and ghrelin, which also play a part in regulating brown fat.

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