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Human adults have functionally active BAT. The metabolic function can be reliably measured in vivo using modern imaging modalities (namely PET/CT). Cold seems to be one of the most potent stimulators of BAT metabolic activity but other stimulators (for example insulin) are actively studied. Obesity is related to lower metabolic activity of BAT but it may be reversed after successful weight reduction such as after bariatric surgery. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Brown and White Fat: From Signaling to Disease. Copyright © 2013. Published by Elsevier B.V.


Kirsi A Virtanen, Wouter D van Marken Lichtenbelt, Pirjo Nuutila. Brown adipose tissue functions in humans. Biochimica et biophysica acta. 2013 May;1831(5):1004-8

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PMID: 23274235

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