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Donald Hensrud, M.D.read biographyclose window
Donald Hensrud, M.D.Donald Hensrud, M.D., M.P.H., M.S.
Dr. Donald D. Hensrud is chair of the Division of Preventive, Occupational and Aerospace Medicine with a joint appointment in the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, Metabolism, & Nutrition at Mayo Clinic. He is an associate professor of preventive medicine and nutrition at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine. Dr. Hensrud directed the Executive Health Program at Mayo Clinic for more than 10 years.
He received his B.S. from the University of North Dakota, M.D. from the University of Hawaii, M.P.H. from the University of Minnesota and M.S. in nutrition sciences from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He completed residency training in internal medicine and fellowship training in preventive medicine at Mayo Clinic and completed a clinical nutrition fellowship at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Dr. Hensrud is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine, the American Board of Preventive Medicine and the American Board of Physician Nutrition Specialists, of which he is a past president.
His career interests have combined nutrition, weight management, and prevention. He is the author of many scientific articles and book chapters and was editor of Mayo Clinic Healthy Weight for EveryBody; The New Mayo Clinic Cookbook, which won a 2005 James Beard Foundation award; The Mayo Clinic Plan: 10 Essential Steps to a Better Body & Healthier Life; and The Mayo Clinic Diet, published in January 2010.
Dr. Hensrud says healthy lifestyle habits in diet and physical activity are extremely important as evidenced by a large body of scientific evidence. He also says implementing these lifestyle habits is realistic, sustainable and enjoyable. A primary goal of his work is to help people achieve this.
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How is brown fat different from other fat?
What is brown fat? How is it different from other body fat?
from Donald Hensrud, M.D.
Brown fat, also called brown adipose tissue, is a special type of body fat that is turned on, or activated, when you get cold. Brown fat produces heat to help maintain your body temperature in cold conditions.
Brown fat has generated interest among doctors and researchers for some time because it appears to be able to use regular body fat as fuel. And equally promising, it looks as if exercise may stimulate hormones that activate brown fat.
Researchers are looking at whether brown fat's calorie-burning properties can be harnessed for weight loss. It's too soon to know whether these efforts will pay off. In the meantime, be sure to include physical activity in your weight management plans.Next question
Sleep and weight gain: What's the connection?
- Ouellet V, et al. Brown adipose tissue oxidative metabolism contributes to energy expenditure during acute cold exposure in humans. Journal of Clinical Investigation. 2012;122:545.
- Wu J, et al. Beige adipocytes are a distinct type of thermogenic fat cell in mouse and human. Cell. 2012;150:366.
- Bostrom P, et al. A PGC1-a-dependent myokine that drives brown-fat-like development of white fat and thermogenesis. Nature. 2012;481:463.
- Tam CS, et al. Brown adipose tissue: Mechanisms and potential therapeutic targets. Circulation. 2012;125:2782.
- Whittle A. Searching for ways to switch on brown fat: Are we getting warmer? Journal of Molecular Endocrinology. http://jme.endocrinology-journals.org/content/early/2012/07/24/JME-12-0080.long. Accessed July 30, 2012.
- Hensrud DD (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. July 31, 2012.