Calorie-Burning Fat, Headache Help, and Dangerous Detoxes

The elusive brown fat, how exercise affects migraines and the lowdown on detoxing.

Brown Fat
Ever heard of brown fat? It sounds gross, but it’s about to become your new best friend. Brown fat is a special form of fat that really is brown and really does burn calories. The special fat is said to help us stay warm because it helps us shiver and uses mundo calories to produce body heat.

Previously, researchers believed that brown fat was just in kids and babies, but new research shows that the brown stuff is in adults, too. In those studied, thinner people appeared to have more brown fat than heavier people, younger people had more than older people, and, surprisingly, women had more than men. Finally, women have an advantage in the weight-loss battle of the sexes!

The upside to being cold.

Exercise: Migraine Reducer or Trigger?
Many migraine sufferers cite workouts as a trigger for head pain, but they shouldn’t throw in the workout towel yet. New research shows that a regular aerobic exercise program, such as indoor cycling, can improve maximal oxygen uptake without making migraines worse.

In fact, by the end of the study, participants reduced their number of migraine attacks, the number of days with a migraine per month, headache intensity and the amount of headache medication used. Everyone wins!

Talk about a no brainer.

Detoxes Debunked
It seems like detoxes come in spurts. You don’t hear anything about them for years, and then all of a sudden everyone at work is doing the Master Cleanse. I’ve always been skeptical of detoxes for a number of reasons. First, they’re not a long-term health solution. Second, you generally aren’t allowed to eat substantial food while on them. Third, I like food.

According to one expert, most detoxes are more hype than help, but, she concedes, short ones can help people jump start healthy behaviors.

I think that’s a good compromise.


Want more fitness news you can use? Check out how caffeine can help your workouts and how food companies might trick ya.

Photos grabbed from peasap, Patrick Denker and rick on Flickr.

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  1. Moonlight Dancer says:

    I was on Topomax for two years for my migraines, the last September I went to refill my prescription and it had ran out, I tried to get them to refill a couple times but due to the fact that the neurologist that my regular neurologist put me too no longer worked at that office they wouldn’t refill, living an hour 1/2 away from the doctors office especially in the winter it just wasn’t convenient, so when they ran out, I just went cold turkey off of them. I have been working out hard core for a year now and since going off the meds, I haven’t had a migraine, I attribute it TOO the working out. Something I never did beforehand.

  2. tfh says:

    Interesting stuff– although I can’t imagine anything jump-starting unhealthy behaviors in me personally than trying to “detox.”

  3. Sagan says:

    Think I’ll skip on the detoxes- I like food, too 😉

  4. Jody - Fit at 51 says:

    This brown fat has been talked about for years. The fact that the pharmaceutical companies want to make another pill with it really turn me off! After they finish their research in 5-10 years, we shall see what they say then.. does Phen-Fen ring a bell.. UGH!

    Love the info on the migraines. I don't have them but know people that do.

    As for detox, I am with others… not anything I pan to think about but I do know people that do mini ones but it involves eating regular food like veggies, fruit & some protein but for me, just not my thing. I have heard positive on some of the short term ones.