The study of brown adipose tissue (BAT) has gained significant scientific interest since the discovery of functional BAT in adult humans. The thermogenic properties of BAT are well recognized; however, data generated in the last decade in both rodents and humans reveal therapeutic potential for BAT against metabolic disorders and obesity. Here we review the current literature in light of a potential role for BAT in beneficially mediating cardiovascular health. We focus mainly on BAT's actions in obesity, vascular tone, and glucose and lipid metabolism. Furthermore, we discuss the recently discovered endocrine factors that have a potential beneficial role in cardiovascular health. These BAT-secreted factors may have a favorable effect against cardiovascular risk either through their metabolic role or by directly affecting the heart.
- endocrine function
- Copyright © 2016 the American Physiological Society
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