As the holidays go by, we all put on a few extra pounds, mainly from excess calories that we don’t burn until after they are over. But did you know that ginseng helps burn fat? Keep reading because we will explain how.

Fat cells can consist of 3 different types, and we also store fat in 3 different ways. Ironically, it turns out that one of these types of fat cells is both a blessing and a curse. This type of fat present in your body can help you burn the other two.

Unfortunately, we generally don’t have enough of this fat, so we need a little help getting it. And ginseng may be the necessary medium. Researchers reveal how ginseng can reduce obesity and burn fat .

Fat cells and their storage in our body

Our body stores three different types of fat cells and it does so in 3 different places. We have white, beige and brown fat cells. The real name of fat cells is adipocytes, and they fulfill several crucial functions for our body:

  • They produce and release the necessary hormones
  • They protect our nerve endings
  • They bind to proteins to act as messengers
  • They store vitamins and minerals
  • They keep us warm and maintain body temperature
  • Provide stored energy

Subcutaneous fat

Subcutaneous fat is the fat that we are used to talking about and that we pay the most attention to. It is the most visible fat that women can see on the thighs, buttocks and stomach.

Men generally accumulate it in their belly. This makes up about 90% of the fat in our bodies, and it forms on our muscles under our skin, so it is highly exposed. It can be made up of white or beige fat cells.

For women who spent most of their lives with thick thighs and wide hips, but slimmer waists, the fat they accumulated did less damage than those who tended to accumulate their fat around the waist.

Unfortunately, with the arrival of menopause, this advantage begins to disappear, and all women begin to increase in volume around their waist.

Scientists have stated that belly fat is one of the contributing factors to heart disease or stroke. Waist measurements greater than 89 centimeters for women or men with a waist greater than 101 centimeters have a higher risk of heart disease.

Purposes of white fat

As much as we don’t like our white fat, it serves two great purposes:

  • Store energy so we can use it when we need it
  • Produce hormones and send them into the bloodstream

When our white fat cells are still small, a hormone called adiponectin is created, which is an anti-inflammatory that helps control blood sugar.

This makes our muscles and liver sensitive to insulin, which lowers our chances of developing diabetes or heart disease.

However, when we accumulate too much white fat, those cells get bigger and the chances of developing heart disease and diabetes also increase as the production of adiponectin slows down.

That is why doctors agree that accumulating too much subcutaneous fat, especially around the waist, is detrimental to our health.

Viceral fat

Visceral fat is the most dangerous fat, mainly because of where it is located. This is made up of white blood cells and is formed deep in the cavity of our abdomen, around our organs.

We cannot see or touch it. Visceral fat can only be seen with a CT scan. Doctors generally say that if you have belly fat, you also have visceral fat. Calculating your amount of visceral fat can be difficult. The general rule of thumb is that if you have a BMI of 25 or more, then you have visceral fat.

Viceral fat can be a factor in:

  • Cholesterol levels
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Dementia
  • Heart disease and stroke

Essential fat

Essential fat is the fat needed for our bone marrow, fat around our eyes, our nerve endings, and around the membranes of our organs. It does not produce much energy or increase our weight.

What happens to brown fat cells?

Brown fat cells are fat cells that are activated when you cool down. This is part of the reason why some people say that you can burn more calories by sleeping in a cold room.

This fat is stored in places like the neck, shoulders, and chest. When we are children, we have more brown fat cells than we have as adults.

Thinner people tend to have more than people who are overweight or obese. However, the amount is still minimal compared to white fat, regardless of size and weight.

Brown fat burns white fat

This factor has many scientists interested in how we can learn to use this to decrease obesity and improve our health. This fat is believed to contain mitochondria that use white fat for energy.

A study conducted at the University of Munich showed that it could be possible for food to trigger this same thermogenic process in brown fat.

The act of eating and digesting alone consumes up to 10% energy through muscle contractions in the intestines, secretion, and the digestion process.

The volunteers in this study had a high-carbohydrate meal, and the scientists measured the level of activity in brown fat cells.

This confirms that brown fat cells somehow play a role in the digestion of food and possibly our feeling of fullness after eating.

The study demonstrated how it is possible to promote the activation of brown fat cells and turn beige fat cells into brown by using ginseng.

Ginseng and fat burning to reduce obesity

Ginseng is an herb that is commonly recognized by two varieties, Asian ginseng or American ginseng. Studies have shown that two of its chemical components contribute to various improvements in health. These are ginsenosides and gintonin. The health benefits they offer are as follows:

  • An antioxidant that can reduce inflammation
  • Promotes brain memory
  • Improves mood and behavior
  • Helps in erectile dysfunction through the production of nitric oxide
  • Strengthens the immune system
  • Helps fight fatigue and improve energy levels

To this list we can also add that ginseng is a great fat burner . A recent study published in BMJ has found a potential correlation between the benefits of ginseng and the increase in brown fat cells and its thermogenic performance.

This study was conducted by a team of Chinese scientists associated with the Chinese Academy of Sciences .

The scientists decided to determine the source of the weight management benefits that were allegedly produced by using ginseng to attack gut bacteria .

They would then try to identify the corresponding long-chain fatty acids that appear to be related to ginseng’s weight-control potential.

The scientists injected mice with ginseng extract and then analyzed the reaction of the gut bacteria. They were able to see that the intestinal bacterium Enterococcus faecalis produced a long-chain fatty acid called myristoleic acid.

Together, the bacteria and acid reduced the white fat cells by activating the brown ones and turned the beige fat cells into brown fat cells as well.

The results show that it is the relationship between gut bacteria and long-chain fatty acids that could play a key role in the development of an obesity drug through brown fat cells.

By Dr. Eric Jackson

Dr. Eric Jackson provides primary Internal Medicine care for men and women and treats patients with bone and mineral diseases, diabetes, heart conditions, and other chronic illnesses.He is a Washington University Bone Health Program physician and is a certified Bone Densitometrist. Dr. Avery is consistently recognized in "The Best Doctors in America" list.

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