Translational Aspects of Brown Fat Activation by Food-Derived Stimulants

  • Takeshi YoneshiroEmail author
  • Mami Matsushita
  • Masayuki Saito
Part of the Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology book series (HEP, volume 251)


Since the rediscovery of brown adipose tissue (BAT) in humans, its energy-dissipating ability has been well-recognized. The negative correlations of BAT activity with adiposity and insulin sensitivity provided an obvious rationale for discerning reliable and practical strategies for stimulating BAT. Though cold exposure or use of pharmacological adrenomimetics can activate BAT, they may have adverse effects. Therefore, determining alternative stimulants of BAT with lower risks such as commonly used food ingredients is highly desirable. Recent observations revealed that chemical activation of temperature-sensitive transient receptor potential (TRP) channels by food ingredients can recruit BAT in humans. Furthermore, animal studies have identified several food-derived stimulants of BAT acting through multiple mechanisms distinct from a TRP-mediated process. Dietary compounds acting as an activator of Sirtuin 1, a critical regulator of mitochondrial biogenesis and brown adipocyte differentiation, are one such class of promising food-derived BAT activators in humans. While the individual effects of various dietary factors are increasingly established in a laboratory setting, the potential synergistic effects of multiple stimulants on BAT remain to be tested in a clinical environment. These investigations may support the development of efficient, flexible dietary regimens capable of boosting BAT thermogenesis.


Brown adipose tissue Capsinoids Catechins Food ingredients Obesity Recruitment SIRT1 Thermogenesis TRP channels 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Takeshi Yoneshiro
    • 1
    Email author
  • Mami Matsushita
    • 2
  • Masayuki Saito
    • 3
  1. 1.Diabetes CenterUniversity of California, San FranciscoSan FranciscoUSA
  2. 2.Department of NutritionTenshi CollegeSapporoJapan
  3. 3.Department of Biomedical Sciences, Graduate School of Veterinary MedicineHokkaido UniversitySapporoJapan

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