I Learned Two New Words Today

Via Exercise Hormone May Fight Obesity and Diabetes” from The New York Times.


Just for fun, the terms were “white fat,” fat that is inert, and “brown fat,” fat that is metabolically active. The article is basically about how muscle tissue releases a protein called irisin that heads to fat stores in the body; after that, white fat cells start turning into brown fat.

But I’m quick-linking it here — admittedly, disjointedly — for a couple of reasons:

One, yes, it is interesting and useful to me to know that some types of fat cells use oxygen and burn calories. Suddenly some previously anomalous things about my how my body works start to make more sense.

Second, though, was this: “So it would seem that exercise, through the actions of irisin, can render you healthy, if not svelte.” I have been doing a lot of reading recently, mostly in regard to yoga, where authors and commenters have often used “overweight” as synonymous with “out of shape” and incompatible with “exercising with a lot of strength and stamina.” So today, it’s just nice to read something that counters all that.


I'm here. I like stuff. Some other stuff, I like less.

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