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Dean Pomerleau

Cold Exposure & Other Mild Stressors for Increased Health & Longevity

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Dean do you ever worry about overdoing it. I mean the concept of "moderation in all things" tends to bear out as an eternal truth. We have seen enthusiasm over the decades for this and that and it always seems to end up being a bell curve. Too little is not good, and neither is too much!

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Mike,

 

Dean do you ever worry about overdoing it[?] I mean the concept of "moderation in all things" tends to bear out as an eternal truth.

 

We've been through this before. I'm naturally an extremist and a self-experimenter, willing to go out on a limb as long as it doesn't appear to me to be too risky. So far both the research I've uncovered and the feedback my body is giving me (both subjectively and quantitatively via blood tests) seems to show I'm doing pretty well. Until I see evidence to the contrary, either in the literature or my own body, I plan to continue to 'push the envelope' so to speak. In fact I rather enjoy it. I figure if we're not trying something new and different with our lives given the cards we've been dealt, what are we doing here anyway? If we're not here to explore new parts of the space of human possibility, what then is the purpose of life? Are we just supposed to muddle through until it's time to die? I always thought it was Tony Robbins, but apparently it was William G.T. Shedd who said:

 

A ship is safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for. 

 

I'm perfectly happy to acknowledge the possibility that I may one day crash and burn. I'm not advocating that anyone else should follow my lead in any of my more extreme practices, be it diet, exercise or cold exposure.

 

Caveat emptor. YMMV.

 

--Dean

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My reason for being here is to explore the most rationale courses of action wrt health, longevity. I guess we differ in that regard. Now wrt the meaning of or our ultimate purpose, if there is any, I wholeheartedly agree with you! I just don't see those two as being synonymous in the least.

Edited by mikeccolella

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Mike,

 

Certainly there are other places to find meaning and purpose in one's life than pioneering / exploring new ways of living wrt to diet & lifestyle. And obviously not everyone is wired in such a way as to be comfortable on the leading/bleeding edge of human pursuits. Humanity certainly has the need for relatively conservative late[r]-adopters like you and TomB, in order to "hold the center" and cautiously follow the lead of foolhardy pioneers, to be part of a larger cohort which will eventually either validate or refute the n-of-1 results from the pioneers.

 

--Dean

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[...]Humanity certainly has the need for relatively conservative late[r]-adopters like you and TomB, in order to "hold the center" and cautiously follow the lead of foolhardy pioneers, to be part of a larger cohort which will eventually either validate or refute the n-of-1 results from the pioneers.[...]

 

 

"Conservative" and "late[r]-adopters" are relative terms. Friends who know me, don't think of me as "conservative" in any sense of the word :)... and even in dietary matters I'm not exactly conservative - after all, I'm practicing CR, which has never been proved to be effective in humans and cannot be proven (no one is ever going to do a controlled trial), and there is a respectable case to be made that it might not work in animals either. I've taken up, speculatively, supplements that I've had to subsequently drop, when more evidence turned up. I'm looking for the moonshot as much as the next guy. The only difference, is that I am acutely aware of history. I've been attracted to history since I was a kid - for life lessons. I think it crazy that there's this resource of experiments in human nature, societal organization, health and so forth that spans millennia, and we ignore it for the most part. What a waste! And it is that history that gives me pause when it comes to health interventions. We've seen this pattern over and over and over again: supplements or treatment that's ever so promising. And then it fizzles. And so - rarely - I may join the entusiastic train, but most of the time, I wait before I jump on the bandwagon... and so I've bypassed any number of "hot" items that were popular even on the CR list (anyone remember R-Lipoic Acid?), some of which I felt immediately were hype designed to extract money out of your wallet (like resveratrol - anything associated with David Sinclair, whom I regard as a huckster... yes, he's a legit scientist, but has a history of coming up with an early iffy result and flogging the heck out of it for financial reward), and some of which only failed in due time. Be that as it may, I am occasionally willing to jump aboard something that sounds plausible (WBV!), but I live in fear of those effects which are not merely null, but worse - irreversibly damaging. Like radon water back in the day - see this (the guy is buried in a lead coffin): Eben Byers. If I waste money for nothing - I'm largely OK with it. What I don't want to do is permanent damage.

 

But, if we are going to discuss this further (not that I'm eager), perhaps it should not be in this thread, as it's pretty much way OT.

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Mike,

 

Dean do you ever worry about overdoing it[?] I mean the concept of "moderation in all things" tends to bear out as an eternal truth.

We've been through this before. I'm naturally an extremist and a self-experimenter, willing to go out on a limb as long as it doesn't appear to me to be too risky. So far both the research I've uncovered and the feedback my body is giving me (both subjectively and quantitatively via blood tests) seems to show I'm doing pretty well. Until I see evidence to the contrary, either in the literature or my own body, I plan to continue to 'push the envelope' so to speak. In fact I rather enjoy it. I figure if we're not trying something new and different with our lives given the cards we've been dealt, what are we doing here anyway? If we're not here to explore new parts of the space of human possibility, what then is the purpose of life? Are we just supposed to muddle through until it's time to die? I always thought it was Tony Robbins, but apparently it was William G.T. Shedd who said:

 

A ship is safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for.

I'm perfectly happy to acknowledge the possibility that I may one day crash and burn. I'm not advocating that anyone else should follow my lead in any of my more extreme practices, be it diet, exercise or cold exposure.

 

Caveat emptor. YMMV.

 

--Dean

High five, brother, from one extremist to another: big props!

 

We're all gonna die anyway, no one is getting out of here alive, longevity science in this country isn't moving robustly enough, so we've little to lose in the big picture by taking smart, uncomfortable, thoughtful risks.

 

Keep pushing. To these comments I say yes and double yes:

 

Mike,

 

Certainly there are other places to find meaning and purpose in one's life than pioneering / exploring new ways of living wrt to diet & lifestyle. And obviously not everyone is wired in such a way as to be comfortable on the leading/bleeding edge of human pursuits. Humanity certainly has the need for relatively conservative late[r]-adopters like you and TomB, in order to "hold the center" and cautiously follow the lead of foolhardy pioneers, to be part of a larger cohort which will eventually either validate or refute the n-of-1 results from the pioneers.

 

--Dean

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Hi Sthira,

I certainly hope neither you or Dean crash and burn. All the very best to you and Dean and your interesting pursuits. I hope they work well for you both.

Thanks, Mike! This sounds like goodbye! Crash and burn, I do not hope for that either, not yet anyway, although I guess some day that's all of our inevitable conclusions: suffer the disease of aging, then succumb. My pursuit here is much less intriguing than Dean's -- I'm simply fasting regularly -- which might prolong healthy lifespan, but I doubt it. Fasting interests me, but I don't expect much. If there was more I could do to stall the inevitable you bet your boots I'd be attempting it. Also I'm searching for clinical trials, so if you learn of anything please shout. Everyone!

 

Sorry to fling this convo off topic, y'all.

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Melatonin - Yet Another Possible Browning Agent

 

We've touched on melatonin (MEL) before, and one of the leading experts/practitioners of cold exposure (Ray Cronise) swears by it, supplementing with a whopping 30mg of MEL before bed, in combination with CE. 

 

I've done brief tests with MEL before, for improved sleep, but never noticed much of an effect, and I've been sleeping really well lately, so I haven't felt the need. But this 2013 study [1] seems to suggest that MEL may be yet another substance that turns white fat to brown, at least if you are a Zucker rat. The interesting thing is that feeding rats MEL not only increased UCP1 expression in both lean and diabetic fatty rats, it also resulted in an increase in the temperature of the browned fat, particularly in response to cold exposure. While the fact that their bat got warmer is not surprising given it's more thermogenic nature, what is surprising is that this seems to conflict with the observation that melatonin is typically associated with reduced core body temperature [2][3].

 

It's not clear to me how to square the fact that melatonin decreases body temperature but may increase browning of white fat. Perhaps the acute reduction in body temperature resulting from melatonin supplements triggers the body to eventually increase thermogenic capacity to compensate, in a similar manner to it's response to a drop in external temperature. 

 

I'm surprised there hasn't been more study about this, but I did find this new study from earlier this year [4]. It also studied rats (a different strain). It found melatonin supplement prevented obesity without reducing food intake, and increased both brown and beige adipose tissue, and improved serum lipid levels. Interestingly (and unlike in earlier study [1] in a different type of rat), the rats in [4] exhibited elevated levels of irisin, which is upregulated by exercise and is associated with white fat browning, as discussed here and here

 

Based on this evidence I going to tentatively add melatonin to the master list below of bat/beige fat activators.

 

--Dean

 

----------------

Here is the latest full list of modifiable and [nonmodifiable] factors associated with increased brown/beige adipose tissue and/or thermogenesis, with the factors mentioned in this post highlighted in red:

  • Cold exposure - by far the best BAT inducer/activator
  • Spicy / pungent foods, herbs & supplements - capsaicin / chilli peppers, curcumin / turmeric root, menthol/mint/camphor, oregano, cloves, mustard, horseradish/wasabi, garlic, onions
  • Sulforaphane-rich foods - Broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage
  • Arginine-rich foods - Good vegan sources include seeds (esp. sesame, sunflower & pumpkin), nuts (esp. almonds and walnuts) and legumes (esp. soy, lupin & fava beans and peas)
  • Healthy Fats - DHA / EPA / fish-oil, MUFA-rich diet,  Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Olive Polyphenols - Extra Virgin Olive Oil / Olive Leaf Extract / Olive Leaf Tea
  • Luteolin-rich foods - Herbs (thyme, parsley, oregano, peppermint, rosemary), hot peppers, citrus fruit, celery, beets, spinach, cruciferous veggies, olive oil, carrots. 
  • Other foods - Apples / apple peels / ursolic acid; Citrus fruit / citrus peels / limonene; Honey / chrysin
  • Beverages - green tea, roasted coffee, red wine, cacao beans / chocolate
  • Low gluten diet
  • Methionine restriction - Reduce animal protein. Soy is low in methionine and high in arginine, but also high in leucine.
  • Leucine restriction - Reduce animals protein. Leucine is highest in beef, fish, eggs, cheese and soy.
  • Low protein diet
  • Drugs / Supplements - metformin, berberine, caffeine, creatine, nicotinamide riboside (NAD), resveratrol, ginseng, cannabidiol / hemp oil / medicinal marijuana, melatonin
  • Time Restricted Feeding - most calories at breakfast
  • Exercise & elevated lactate / lactic acid
  • Acupuncture - locations Zusanli (foot - ST36) and Neiting (lower leg - ST44) 
  • Whole body vibration therapy
  • Avoid obesity/overweight
  • [being naturally thin - high metabolic rate]
  • [being younger]
  • [being female]
  • [Ethnicity - having cold-climate ancestors]
  • [being of genotype TT for rs1800592 and AA for rs4994 as reported by 23andMe]

 

 

----------

[1]  J Pineal Res. 2013 Nov;55(4):416-23. doi: 10.1111/jpi.12089. Epub 2013 Sep 6.

 
Melatonin induces browning of inguinal white adipose tissue in Zucker diabetic
fatty rats.
 
Jiménez-Aranda A(1), Fernández-Vázquez G, Campos D, Tassi M, Velasco-Perez L, Tan
DX, Reiter RJ, Agil A.
 
 
Melatonin limits obesity in rodents without affecting food intake and activity,
suggesting a thermogenic effect. Identification of brown fat (beige/brite) in
white adipose tissue (WAT) prompted us to investigate whether melatonin is a
brown-fat inducer. We used Zücker diabetic fatty (ZDF) rats, a model of
obesity-related type 2 diabetes and a strain in which melatonin reduces obesity
and improves their metabolic profiles. At 5 wk of age, ZDF rats and lean
littermates (ZL) were subdivided into two groups, each composed of four rats:
control and those treated with oral melatonin in the drinking water
(10 mg/kg/day) for 6 wk. Melatonin induced browning of inguinal WAT in both ZDF
and ZL rats. Hematoxylin-eosin staining showed patches of brown-like adipocytes
in inguinal WAT in ZDF rats and also increased the amounts in ZL animals.
Inguinal skin temperature was similar in untreated lean and obese rats. Melatonin
increased inguinal temperature by 1.36 ± 0.02°C in ZL and by 0.55 ± 0.04°C in ZDF
rats and sensitized the thermogenic effect of acute cold exposure in both groups.
Melatonin increased the amounts of thermogenic proteins, uncoupling protein 1
(UCP1) (by ~2-fold, P < 0.01) and PGC-1α (by 25%, P < 0.05) in extracts from
beige inguinal areas in ZL rats. Melatonin also induced measurable amounts of
UCP1 and stimulated by ~2-fold the levels of PGC-1α in ZDF animals. Locomotor
activity and circulating irisin levels were not affected by melatonin. These
results demonstrate that chronic oral melatonin drives WAT into a brown-fat-like 
function in ZDF rats. This may contribute to melatonin's control of body weight
and its metabolic benefits.
 
© 2013 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
 
DOI: 10.1111/jpi.12089 
PMID: 24007241 
 
----------
[2]  J Pineal Res. 1996 May;20(4):192-7.
 
The hypothermic effect of melatonin on core body temperature: is more better?
 
Dawson D(1), Gibbon S, Singh P.
 
Author information: 
(1)Centre for Sleep Research, School of Psychology, University of South
Australia, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Australia.
 
Recent studies have shown that melatonin is both hypnotic and hypothermic at
physiological levels. Indeed, the hypnotic effect may be mediated via the
hypothermic action. If this is the case, it is important to explore the
dose-response relationships for the thermoregulatory effects of melatonin. Four
groups of eight healthy adults (n = 32), aged between 18 and 38, each underwent
two 12-hr bedrest protocols in which core body temperature (CT) and plasma
melatonin levels were measured concurrently between 0800 and 2000 hr. For each
group, subjects ingested either sucrose placebo or a 0.1, 0.5, 1.0, or 5.0 mg
melatonin capsule at 1600 hr in a double-blind counterbalanced cross-over design.
Melatonin was absorbed rapidly, with peak levels being reached after 1 hr at all 
dose levels. Mean peak plasma melatonin levels increased from physiological to
pharmacological levels in a dose-dependent manner. Elimination for all dose
levels was rapid, with mean plasma half-lives between 33 and 47 min. At the lower
doses the mean drop in CT was between 0.05 and 0.15 degrees C and took between 2 
and 3 hr. At the higher doses (1.0 and 5.0 mg), CT fell by 0.25-0.3 degrees C
within 30-60 min following ingestion and at the highest dose (5 mg) remained
suppressed for the duration of the study. While the magnitude and duration of the
drop increased in what appeared to be a dose-dependent manner, it is unlikely
that this relationship reflects a simple dose-response curve. There was
considerable variability in plasma profiles following administration,
particularly at the two lowest doses (0.1 and 0.5 mg). The lower mean drop in CT 
probably reflects the lower proportion of subjects achieving physiological plasma
levels, and therefore a hypothermic effect, at the two lowest doses. If melatonin
is to be used to improve sleep onset and maintenance by lowering CT, doses
between 1.0 and 5.0 mg appear to be the lowest that produce a consistent drop in 
CT across all subjects.
 
 
PMID: 8836952
 
----------
[3] Clin Neuropharmacol. 2001 Nov-Dec;24(6):334-40.
 
Hypothermic action of exogenously administered melatonin is dose-dependent in
humans.
 
Satoh K(1), Mishima K.
 
Author information: 
(1)Department of Neuropsychiatry, Akita University School of Medicine, 1-1-1
Hondo, Akita-city, Akita, 010-8543, Japan.
 
The pineal hormone melatonin (MLT) is closely related to sleep initiation and
maintenance in humans, and is now used as a potent therapeutic tool for some
circadian rhythm sleep disorders. Acute and transient hypothermia induced by
exogenously administered MLT (ex-MLT) may play a critical role in the circadian
phase shifting and hypnogenic actions. Six healthy young male volunteers (mean
age, 22.5 y; age range, 19-24 y), whose endogenous MLT secretion rhythms were
previously assessed, took either 0.5 mg, 3 mg, or 9 mg of ex-MLT or a placebo at 
0930 h (the average sleep onset time was 0000 h) on a randomized, single-blind,
crossover basis. In comparison with placebo, ex-MLT significantly suppressed core
body temperature at the 3-mg and 9-mg doses and slightly suppressed core body
temperature at the 0.5-mg dose. There was significant positive correlation
between the magnitude of core body temperature suppression and the area under the
MLT concentration curve as well as the peak MLT concentration after ex-MLT
administration. Our study showed that clinical doses of ex-MLT induce hypothermia
in a dose-dependent manner. Results suggest that the therapeutic effect of larger
doses of ex-MLT should be tested on patients who benefit little from typically
lower clinical doses of ex-MLT.
 
PMID: 11801808
 
------------
[4] Endocrinology. 2003 Dec;144(12):5347-52. Epub 2003 Sep 11.
 
Melatonin reduces body weight gain in Sprague Dawley rats with diet-induced
obesity.
 
Prunet-Marcassus B(1), Desbazeille M, Bros A, Louche K, Delagrange P, Renard P,
Casteilla L, Pénicaud L.
 
Author information: 
(1)Unité Mixte de Recherche 5018-Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique,
Universitaire Paul Sabatier, Institut Fédératif de Recherche 31, Toulouse Cedex
9, France. penicaud@toulouse.inserm.fr.
 
Melatonin is involved in the regulation of seasonal obesity in various species,
including some rodents. This involvement has been demonstrated in
nonphotoperiodic rodents like rats, but only in models of enhanced body weight
such as genetically obese or middle-aged rats. The aim of this investigation was 
to determine the effects of melatonin on body weight and metabolic parameters in 
a model closer to that observed in Western populations, i.e. Sprague Dawley rats 
fed a high-fat diet. They were treated for 3 wk with melatonin (30 mg/kg) 4 h
after lights-on [Zeitgeber time (ZT) 4] or 1 h before lights-out (ZT11). Given at
ZT11, melatonin decreased body weight gain and feed efficiency by half. Melatonin
had no effect on plasma insulin level, but it decreased plasma glucose (13%),
leptin (28%), and triglyceride (28%) levels. Furthermore, in pinealectomized
high-fat diet rats, body weight gain and feed efficiency were increased 4 wk
after surgery. Adipose tissue weight, insulinemia, and glycemia had a tendency to
increase. Treatment with melatonin prevented in part these changes. These data
demonstrate that melatonin may act as a regulator of body weight in a model of
obesity and may prevent some of the side effects on glucose homeostasis such as
decreased insulin sensitivity.
 
DOI: 10.1210/en.2003-0693 
PMID: 12970162

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Dean might have been cheating all along, in that it appears that he is exercising excessively according to many measures showing a U shaped longevity response to exercise, and yet shows - at least for now - no ill effects of such excessive exercise. But I think I caught him - this is his secret:

 

PMID: 24998353

 

Whole-body cryostimulation as an effective way of reducing exercise-induced inflammation and bloodcholesterol in young men.

 

Abstract

Inflammation may accompany obesity and a variety of diseases, or result from excessive exercise. The aim of this study was to investigate the anti-inflammatory effect of whole-body cryostimulation on the inflammatory response induced by eccentric exercise under laboratory conditions. The study also sought to establish if cold treatment changes the lipid profile and modifies energy expenditure in young people. Eighteen healthy and physically active, college-aged men volunteered to participate in the experiment. They were divided into two subgroups: CRY- submitted to whole-body cryostimulation, and CONT- a control group. Both groups performed eccentric work to induce muscle damage. Blood samples were collected before and 24 h after the exercise. Over the five days that followed, the CRY group was exposed to a series of 10 sessions in a cryogenic chamber (twice a day, for 3 min, at a temperature of -110̊C). After this period of rest, both groups repeated a similar eccentric work session, following the same schedule of blood collection. The perceived pain was noted 24h after each session of eccentric workout. A 30-minute step up/down work-out induced delayed-onset muscle soreness in both groups. The five-day recovery period accompanied by exposure to cold significantly enhanced the concentration of the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10. It also led to a pronounced reduction in levels of the pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-1β, and reduced muscle damage. The values for IL-10 before the second bout of eccentric exercise in the CRY group were 2.0-fold higher in comparison to baseline, whereas in the CONT group, the concentration remained unchanged. Furthermore, blood concentrations of the pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-1β fell significantly in the CRY group. The main finding of this study was that a series of 10 sessions of whole body cryostimulation significantly reduced the inflammatory response induced by eccentric exercise. The lipid profile was also improved, but there was no effect on energy expenditure during the exercise.

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I have previously remarked upon how heat-shock proteins are involved when the body is exposed to temperatures outside of the norm. One example was of folk medicinal uses of hot saunas and sometimes a combination of hot sauna immediately followed by an ice bath. While Dean has done an outstanding job of exploring CE, one wonders if there isn't an opposite but equal collection of health effects to be had from HE or Heat Exposure. Here is a rather interesting article dealing with just this topic:

 

Can you get the benefits of exercise by having a hot bath?

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Tom,

 

Thanks for the new article on the benefits of hot baths. Yes, there does appear to be overlap between heat and cold exposure. Both trigger many of the same heat <sic> shock proteins, as we've discussed before, and which your new article mentions as a possible mechanism for sauna and hot bath benefits.

 

--Dean

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Update on BAT & Beige Fat Thermogenesis via  Futile Creatine Cycling

 

UCP1 gets virtually all of credit for thermogenesis in BAT and beige fat. But recall in this post I outlined an alternative pathway for thermogenesis in BAT involving "futile creatine cycling" - basically burning ATP to convert creatine from one form to another and back again. But that research (PMID 26496606) was done in isolated beige fat cells and in vivo using mice. The authors of that study concluded (my emphasis):

 

If creatine metabolism plays a substantial role in thermogenesis in humans,
as suggested by the work here with isolated cells, it could open up possibilities
to manipulate energy expenditure in patients with metabolic diseases by new
drugs or even with dietary supplementation.
 
This new study [1] suggests the answer is "yes" to that open question - creatine metabolism does appear to play a role in thermogenesis in human beige fat, just like it appears to in mice.
 
The researchers removed beige and white fat cells from the clavicle area of 11 people undergoing neck surgery. They then analyzed the proteins (proteomics) produced in two types of cells. Here is what they found:
 
The majority of the 318 proteins with increased abundance in BAT are associated
with mitochondrial metabolism and confirm the increased oxidative capacity. In addition to
uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1), the main functional effector for uncoupled respiration,
we also detected the mitochondrial creatine kinases (CKMT1A/B, CKMT2), as
effective modulators of  ATP synthase coupled respiration, to be exclusively expressed
in BAT. The abundant expression and utilization of both energy expenditure pathways in
parallel highlights the complex functional involvement of BAT in human
physiology.
 
These "creatine kinases" they found in human BAT tissue are exactly the compounds that mediate the cycling between the two forms of creatine to generate heat that was investigated in the mouse study discussed above. So it does look like "futile creatine cycling" may play a role in human brown and beige fat thermogenesis.
 
I've been taking 2g of creatine a day since I discussed that mouse study. I can't say I've noticed a big difference in thermogenesis, but it's really hard to measure, especially since I engage in so many other treatments to boost it.
 
--Dean
 
 
--------
[1]  Sci Rep. 2016 Jul 15;6:30030. doi: 10.1038/srep30030.
 
Proteomic Analysis of Human Brown Adipose Tissue Reveals Utilization of Coupled
and Uncoupled Energy Expenditure Pathways.
 
Müller S(1,)(2,)(3), Balaz M(1), Stefanicka P(4), Varga L(4,)(5), Amri EZ(6),
Ukropec J(5), Wollscheid B(2), Wolfrum C(1).
 
Author information: 
(1)Institute of Food, Nutrition and Health, ETH Zurich, Schwerzenbach,
Switzerland. (2)Institute of Molecular Systems Biology, ETH Zurich, Zurich,
Switzerland. (3)Life Science Zurich Graduate School, Molecular Life Sciences
Program, Zurich, Switzerland. (4)Department of Otorhinolaryngology - Head and
Neck Surgery, Faculty of Medicine and University Hospital, Comenius University,
Bratislava, Slovakia. (5)Institute of Experimental Endocrinology, Biomedical
Research Center at the Slovak Academy of Sciences, Bratislava, Slovakia. (6)UMR
7277, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, U1091, Institut National de
la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale, Institute of Biology Valrose, University
Nice Sophia Antipolis, Nice, France.
 
Human brown adipose tissue (BAT) has become an attractive target to combat the
current epidemical spread of obesity and its associated co-morbidities.
Currently, information on its functional role is primarily derived from rodent
studies. Here, we present the first comparative proteotype analysis of primary
human brown adipose tissue versus adjacent white adipose tissue, which reveals
significant quantitative differences in protein abundances and in turn
differential functional capabilities. The majority of the 318 proteins with
increased abundance in BAT are associated with mitochondrial metabolism and
confirm the increased oxidative capacity. In addition to uncoupling protein 1
(UCP1), the main functional effector for uncoupled respiration, we also detected 
the mitochondrial creatine kinases (CKMT1A/B, CKMT2), as effective modulators of 
ATP synthase coupled respiration, to be exclusively expressed in BAT. The
abundant expression and utilization of both energy expenditure pathways in
parallel highlights the complex functional involvement of BAT in human
physiology.
 
DOI: 10.1038/srep30030 
PMID: 27418403

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Cryostimulation Reduces Inflammation, Speeds Exercise Recovery, Burns Fat and Improves Serum Cholesterol

 

Tom,

 

I've been so busy posting to other threads, I have not had a chance to thank you for finding and posting about whole-body cryostimulation paper [1]. It was a really cool paper - I mean really cool. Like "Each session lasted three minutes at a temperature of -110°C". Now that's cool! But more on that shortly.

 

These researchers were primarily interested in the effects of periodic cold exposure to assist with exercise-induced inflammation, recovery time, and subjective muscle soreness. They divided 18, physically active college men into two groups, a control group (CONT) and a cryostimulation group (CRY). They had each of the men exercise twice, one week apart - with little exercise or physical activity in between. The exercise involved repeatedly stepping up and stepping down from a ½ meter high box at about 20 steps per minute for ½ hour. It doesn't sound like terribly much, but I guess it really tuckered them out, and was designed to induce muscle soreness. Over the subsequent five days, the CONT group rested, while the CRY group received twice daily cryostimulation, which involved (as mentioned above) brief (3min) exposure to an extremely cold cryochamber, cooled to -110 °C (-166 °F). On the 7th day following the initial workout, they had both groups repeat the step up/down exercise session. Before and after both workouts they measured subjective soreness and collected blood samples from both groups.

 

24h after the first bout of exercise (but before any crystimulation), both groups reported the same degree of muscle soreness. At various times over the 24h period the two groups exhibited the same increase in creatine kinase(CK) which is a marker for exercise-induced muscle damage (top graph below). But after 10 bouts of cryostimulation and then another workout a week later, the CRY group reported getting a lot less sore the day after the workout than the controls (reported pain of 2.9 vs. 4.2). Objectively, the exercise-induced CK increase after the second workout was dramatically lower, in fact almost non-existent, in the CRY group, compared with the CONT group (bottom graph below, note change in Y-scale):

 

uGcn1bL.png

 

In other words - less muscle damage after the second workout in the CRY group than controls. Even more interesting, two cytokines involved with inflammation, one pro-inflammatory (IL-1β) and one anti-inflammatory (IL-10) both increased as expected in both groups after the first bout of exercise (top graphs A & C below) - the body was recruiting its tiny workers to the site of sore muscles to deal with the exercise-induced damage.

 

But after the second bout of exercise, the inflammatory cytokine changes was dramatically better in the CRY group than in controls (bottom graphs B & D below). Specifically, as you can see from the two bottom graphs, pro-inflammatory IL-1β was dramatically lower before the second exercise session in the CRY group and stayed low after the session, while in the controls, IL-1β was high and stayed high after the second workout. Conversely, the bottom right graph below shows that the anti-inflammatory IL-10 was dramatically higher before the second exercise session in CRYs and stayed high after the second bout of exercise, while in controls, anti-inflammatory IL-10 was low and stayed low after the second workout:

 

mTH4QVL.png

 

In short, both subjectively and objectively, 5-days of brief but intense sessions of cold exposure resulted in much less exercise-induced inflammation, reduced muscle soreness and faster recovery compared to controls who only rested. This was likely the result of the CRY group having a much less pro-inflammatory blood chemistry both before and after the second bout of exercise. 

 

So Tom is right, my ability to exercise virtually continuously throughout the day, 7-days per week without soreness, injury (or fatigue) may be a result of reduced inflammation due to cold exposure, as I've speculated above before. Nice to see confirmation in a controlled study!

 

One thing to note - exercise performance wasn't influenced one way or the other by the cryotherapy.

 

But there were other really interesting, statistically significant benefits of the cryostimulation besides reduced inflammation and improved recovery. These included:

  • After the cryostimulation sessions, subjects in the CRY group burned more fat (and correspondingly fewer carbs) during the second workout relative to the first. In contrast, the control group burned much more carbs (and less fat) in both workouts. This extra recruitment of fat for energy suggests cryostimulation might be good for losing fat mass, and potentially sparing muscle mass.
     
  • After the cryostimulation, subjects in the CRY group has elevated percent basophils in their blood. The CRY's Baso% went from 0.4 → 0.9%, while the control group stayed the same (0.5 → 0.5%). This is interesting, since I too saw an increase in my basophils in my latest blood test compared with my previous, pre-CE test. After many years in a row of having 0 or 1 for percent baso, it went up to 2 this time. I know, not a big change, and very poor precision in the measurement. But interestingly parallel to the finding in this study, particularly since basophils are white blood cells involved in the body's inflammatory response.
     
  • After cryostimulation, subjects in the CRY group saw improved cholesterol levels in their blood. The CRYs LDL went down from 88 → 74 mg/dL while controls LDL went up a bit, and the CRYs total cholesterol went down from 164 → 147 while the controls went up a bit. HDL stayed about the same in both groups.

Those are some pretty nice bonus effects of cryostimulation!

 

In summary, it looks like brief but very intense sessions of cold exposure (popularly called cryostimulation) can have significant benefits in terms of inflammatory status, exercise-induced soreness and muscle damage, exercise recovery time, as well as fat oxidation and serum lipids.

 

--Dean

 

1Funny, it looks like a day for discussing creatine kinase - this time in muscle rather than beige fat in the previous post!

 

--------

[1] Eur Cytokine Netw. 2014 Mar 1;25(1):14-23. doi: 10.1684/ecn.2014.0349.

 
Whole-body cryostimulation as an effective way of reducing exercise-induced
inflammation and blood cholesterol in young men.
 
Ziemann E(1), Olek RA(2), Grzywacz T(1), Kaczor JJ(3), Antosiewicz J(4), Skrobot 
W(3), Kujach S(1), Laskowski R(1).
 
 
Inflammation may accompany obesity and a variety of diseases, or result from
excessive exercise. The aim of this study was to investigate the
anti-inflammatory effect of whole-body cryostimulation on the inflammatory
response induced by eccentric exercise under laboratory conditions. The study
also sought to establish if cold treatment changes the lipid profile and modifies
energy expenditure in young people. Eighteen healthy and physically active,
college-aged men volunteered to participate in the experiment. They were divided 
into two subgroups: CRY- submitted to whole-body cryostimulation, and CONT- a
control group. Both groups performed eccentric work to induce muscle damage.
Blood samples were collected before and 24 h after the exercise. Over the five
days that followed, the CRY group was exposed to a series of 10 sessions in a
cryogenic chamber (twice a day, for 3 min, at a temperature of -110̊C). After
this period of rest, both groups repeated a similar eccentric work session,
following the same schedule of blood collection. The perceived pain was noted 24h
after each session of eccentric workout. A 30-minute step up/down work-out
induced delayed-onset muscle soreness in both groups. The five-day recovery
period accompanied by exposure to cold significantly enhanced the concentration
of the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10. It also led to a pronounced reduction in
levels of the pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-1β, and reduced muscle damage. The
values for IL-10 before the second bout of eccentric exercise in the CRY group
were 2.0-fold higher in comparison to baseline, whereas in the CONT group, the
concentration remained unchanged. Furthermore, blood concentrations of the
pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-1β fell significantly in the CRY group. The main
finding of this study was that a series of 10 sessions of whole body
cryostimulation significantly reduced the inflammatory response induced by
eccentric exercise. The lipid profile was also improved, but there was no effect 
on energy expenditure during the exercise.
 
DOI: 10.1684/ecn.2014.0349 
PMID: 24998353

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Sthira wrote:

Y'all really paid $160 for that thing? Ain't there a cheaper alternative? Or sew one together yourself?

For any newcomers to this thread, Sthira is referring to my deluxe Cool Fat Burner cooling vest, discussed in detail here.

 

For anyone interested in purchasing a cooling vest for less than the $160 dollars I paid for the deluxe model, the original model (just covering upper back, chest and shoulders) can be had for $86. It's what I've been using most of the time, although it's still cold here in Pennsylvania and I expect to start using the full system when it warms up.

 

Gordo has an alternative version from Techkewl, discussed in my post linked above.

 

--Dean

I'm only partway through rereading this thread (again, still I'm fascinated) but rereading now in terms of actionability (still thinking about buying and using one). Buying part is hard enough ($) but then how do you find motivation to keep using it?

 

And maybe you've addressed your happiness with this specific product further (further or farther, what's the grammatical diff?) down in this thread. But how do you like it now, a few months later?

 

When you purchased it, Dean, why not did you go with both the top chest version and the ab version? And did you buy extra cold packs? How long do these cold packs last, and is re-freezing them a hassel, or...?

 

Have you tried wearing the vest and the vibration platform in tandem? Why both? Dunno. Why not?

 

Apologies again if you've already reviewed this here already, I'm still reading but do get bogged down in the science part.

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Regarding motivation: CE, TRF, and some dietary improvements over the past 2 months have taken my 7 day average morning fasting glucose readings to below 85 in the last week. One day was down to 79! All while maintaining the same weight (20.5 BMI). No big whoop you might say, but for me this is a 20 pt drop from my continual upper 90's FBG readings I've had since first getting LEF blood tests 13 years ago. My 2015 test had my FBG up to 105, so this year I decided I was either going to find a way to solve it myself, or go on metformin. Type-2 diabetes does run in one side of my ancestry, so I find this improvement very motivating, and will continue all 3 of these health tactics.

 

I do use the CFB chest version and aside from some minor clavicle pain in the first couple weeks, and small amount of skin bruising on my back twice, it is otherwise not a big deal to use. Slap it on for 2 hours after lunch, then slap the gel packs back in the freezer. Maybe quickly wipe the accumulated frost off the gel packs once a week. Keep the vest somewhere it can dry out between uses. I do make my border collie wait to play while I'm wearing it, as vigorously running around with the CFB on is kind of awkward, so choose a more sedentary time to do it.

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Brian,

 

I'm so happy to hear of your success dealing with your glucose tolerance issues using cold exposure - congratulations! It seems like a real strong trend with you, me, Mechanism, and especially Gordo reporting results ranging from impressive to remarkable.

 

Sthira, regarding the Cool Fat Burner. I continue to really like it and use it for about 6 hours per day. I did buy extra cooling packs (and Eric shipped me extra for free since I pointed to how much of fanatic I was about CE).

 

I have something like 14 packs right now, 4 blue (flexible) and the rest white (rigid). I'd opt for more blue ones if I had the choice now. With all those packs it makes it easy to swap them out when they get discharged/warm.

 

I've taken to wearing both the shoulder/chest and ab versions simultaneously, without a shirt. It's bit shocking/painful for the first couple minutes, but I quickly adjust to it. The cold packs stay cold for several hours, and it's easy to swap them out and refresh the warm ones. I don't typically wear the vest on the vibration platform, since the platform is upstairs where my wife and daughter can (occasionally - when I prompt them) use it. They make fun of me when I come upstairs wearing my cooling vest. I can't imagine why.☺ So I tend to take it off before vibration sessions. Plus I only use the vibration platform for a couple minutes at a time, so it is pretty minimal time away from cooling.

 

BTW - here is my most comprehensive review of the CoolFatBurner.

 

--Dean

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The Amino-acid Citrulline in Watermelon Browns Fat & Increases Thermogenesis

 

Here is another BAT Rule1 example, this time involving the non-essential amino-acid citrulline (CIT), which is most abundant in watermelon and watermelon rind, but can also be found in much lower concentrations in other healthy foods including:

  • Watermelon
  • Other melons & gourds - cantaloupe, muskmelon, winter squashes
  • Garlic
  • Cucumber
  • Walnuts
  • Peanuts
  • Almonds
  • Cacao / chocolate
  • Chickpeas
  • Red meat 

CIT, like arginine (which CIT can be converted into), is involved in nitric oxide production, and can help boost endothelial function in middle-aged men [1][8] and postmenopausal women [7], reduce blood pressure [2][3][8], maintain muscle mass during aging [10] and especially during calorie restriction [12], and even improve exercise performance and recovery [4][9], not to mention improve a man's love-life [5] if you know what I mean...

 

But most relevant for this thread, CIT also appears to boost the browning of white adipose tissue (WAT). Indirect evidence comes from [6], which found 20-days of dietary CIT (1% of food) not only boosted nitric oxide, but enabled mice to maintain a higher body temperature and recover more quickly from a swim in cold water.

 

But direct evidence has recently come from [11], which found that CIT upregulates expression of UCP1 and several proteins involved with mitochondria biosynthesis in visceral WAT from rats - basically turning visceral white fat to beige/brown.

 

CIT comes in supplement form, but why bother when you can boost your serum CIT level eating delicious watermelon [13], which also as other healthy phytonutrients (like lycopene) and is dirt cheap this time of year. Aldi's has whole seedless watermelons on sale this week for $2.99. They are about 10 lbs each - that's a lot of BAT-promoting citrulline! 

 

--Dean

 

----

1BAT Rule - Virtually every dietary or lifestyle intervention that is known to be healthy is also associated with an increase in BAT activity, browning of white fat and/or thermogenesis.

 

----------------

Here is the latest full list of modifiable and [nonmodifiable] factors associated with increased brown/beige adipose tissue and/or thermogenesis, with the factors mentioned in this post highlighted in red:

  • Cold exposure - by far the best BAT inducer/activator
  • Spicy / pungent foods, herbs & supplements - capsaicin / chilli peppers, curcumin / turmeric root, menthol/mint/camphor, oregano, cloves, mustard, horseradish/wasabi, garlic, onions
  • Sulforaphane-rich foods - Broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage
  • Nitrate-rich foods - beets, celery, arugula, and spinach
  • Arginine-rich foods - Good vegan sources include seeds (esp. sesame, sunflower & pumpkin), nuts (esp. almonds and walnuts) and legumes (esp. soy, lupin & fava beans and peas)
  • Citrulline-rich foods - Highest by far in watermelon, but also some in onions, garlic, onions, cucumber, other melons & gourds, walnuts, peanuts, almonds, cocoa, chickpeas
  • Healthy Fats - DHA / EPA / fish-oil, MUFA-rich diet,  Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Olive Polyphenols - Extra Virgin Olive Oil / Olive Leaf Extract / Olive Leaf Tea
  • Luteolin-rich foods - Herbs (thyme, parsley, oregano, peppermint, rosemary), hot peppers, citrus fruit, celery, beets, spinach, cruciferous veggies, olive oil, carrots. 
  • Other foods - Apples / apple peels / ursolic acid; Citrus fruit / citrus peels / limonene; Honey / chrysin
  • Beverages - green tea, roasted coffee, red wine, cacao beans / chocolate
  • Low gluten diet
  • Methionine restriction - Reduce animal protein. Soy is low in methionine and high in arginine, but also high in leucine.
  • Leucine restriction - Reduce animals protein. Leucine is highest in beef, fish, eggs, cheese and soy.
  • Low protein diet
  • Drugs / Supplements - metformin, berberine, caffeine, creatine, nicotinamide riboside (NAD), resveratrol, ginseng, cannabidiol / hemp oil / medicinal marijuana, melatonin
  • Time Restricted Feeding - most calories at breakfast
  • Exercise & elevated lactate / lactic acid
  • Acupuncture - locations Zusanli (foot - ST36) and Neiting (lower leg - ST44) 
  • Whole body vibration therapy
  • Avoid obesity/overweight
  • [being naturally thin - high metabolic rate]
  • [being younger]
  • [being female]
  • [Ethnicity - having cold-climate ancestors]
  • [being of genotype TT for rs1800592 and AA for rs4994 as reported by 23andMe]

 

------------

[1] Ochiai M1, Hayashi T, Morita M, Ina K, Maeda M, Watanabe F, Morishita K. Short-term effects of L-citrulline supplementation on arterial stiffness in middle-aged men. Int J Cardiol. 2012 Mar 8;155(2):257-61. doi: 10.1016/j.ijcard.2010.10.004. Epub 2010 Nov 9. PMID 21067832

 

[2] Orozco-Gutiérrez JJ1, Castillo-Martínez L, Orea-Tejeda A, Vázquez-Díaz O, Valdespino-Trejo A, Narváez-David R,Keirns-Davis C, Carrasco-Ortiz O, Navarro-Navarro A, Sánchez-Santillán R. Effect of L-arginine or L-citrulline oral supplementation on blood pressure and right ventricular function in heart failure patients with preserved ejection fraction. Cardiol J. 2010;17(6):612-8. PMID 21154265

 

[3] Figueroa A1, Trivino JA, Sanchez-Gonzalez MA, Vicil F Oral L-citrulline supplementation attenuates blood pressure response to cold pressor test in young men. Am J Hypertens. 2010 Jan;23(1):12-6. doi: 10.1038/ajh.2009.195. Epub 2009 Oct 22. PMID 19851298

 

[4] Pérez-Guisado J1, Jakeman PM. Citrulline malate enhances athletic anaerobic performance and relieves muscle soreness J Strength Cond Res. 2010 May;24(5):1215-22. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181cb28e0. PMID 20386132

 

[5] Cormio L1, De Siati M, Lorusso F, Selvaggio O, Mirabella L, Sanguedolce F, Carrieri G. Oral L-citrulline supplementation improves erection hardness in men with mild erectile dysfunction. Urology. 2011 Jan;77(1):119-22. doi: 10.1016/j.urology.2010.08.028. PMID 21195829

 

[6] Kobayashi Y, Narita K, Chiba K, Takemoto H, Morita M, Morishita K. Effects of  L-citrulline diet on stress-induced cold hypersensitivity in mice. Pharmacognosy  Res. 2014 Oct;6(4):297-302. doi: 10.4103/0974-8490.138269. PubMed PMID: 25276066; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4166817.

 

[7] Figueroa A, Wong A, Hooshmand S, Sanchez-Gonzalez MA. Effects of watermelon supplementation on arterial stiffness and wave reflection amplitude in postmenopausal women. Menopause. 2013 May;20(5):573-7. doi:

10.1097/GME.0b013e3182733794. PubMed PMID: 23615650.

 

[8] Figueroa A, Alvarez-Alvarado S, Jaime SJ, Kalfon R. l-Citrulline supplementation attenuates blood pressure, wave reflection and arterial stiffness responses to metaboreflex and cold stress in overweight men. Br J Nutr. 2016 Jul;116(2):279-85. doi: 10.1017/S0007114516001811. Epub 2016 May 10. PMID: 27160957

 

[9] Suzuki T, Morita M, Kobayashi Y, Kamimura A. Oral L-citrulline supplementation enhances cycling time trial performance in healthy trained men: Double-blind randomized placebo-controlled 2-way crossover study. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2016 Feb 19;13:6. doi: 10.1186/s12970-016-0117-z. eCollection 2016. PMID: 26900386
 
[10] Moinard C, Le Plenier S, Noirez P, Morio B, Bonnefont-Rousselot D, Kharchi C, Ferry A, Neveux N, Cynober L, Raynaud-Simon Citrulline Supplementation Induces Changes in Body Composition and Limits Age-Related Metabolic Changes in Healthy Male Rats. A. J Nutr. 2015 Jul;145(7):1429-37. doi: 10.3945/jn.114.200626. Epub 2015 May 27. PMID: 26019250
 
[11] Adipocyte. 2015 Jan 7;4(2):129-34. doi: 10.4161/21623945.2014.989748.
 
Acute induction of uncoupling protein 1 by citrulline in cultured explants of
white adipose tissue from lean and high-fat-diet-fed rats.
 
Joffin N(1), Jaubert AM(2), Bamba J(1), Barouki R(1), Noirez P(3), Forest C(1).
 
A diet enriched with citrulline (CIT) reduces white adipose tissue (WAT) mass. We
recently showed that CIT stimulated β-oxidation in rat WAT explants from young
(2-4 months) but not old (25 months) rats. Here we show that both in old rats and
high-fat-diet-fed young rats, uncoupling protein one (UCP1) mRNA and protein
expressions were weaker than those in young control rats. Selectively in WAT from
young rats, a 24h CIT treatment up-regulated expressions of UCP1, peroxisome
proliferator-activated receptor-α (PPARα), PPARγ-coactivator-1-α and
mitochondrial-transcription-factor-A whereas it down-regulated PPARγ2 gene
expression, whatever the diet. These results suggest that CIT induces a new
metabolic status in WAT, with increased β-oxidation and uncoupling of respiratory
chain, resulting in energy expenditure that favors fat mass reduction.
 
DOI: 10.4161/21623945.2014.989748 
PMCID: PMC4497294

 

[12] Amino Acids. 2013 Nov;45(5):1123-31. doi: 10.1007/s00726-013-1564-3. Epub 2013

Aug 3.
 
Effect of citrulline on muscle functions during moderate dietary restriction in
healthy adult rats.
 
Ventura G(1), Noirez P, Breuillé D, Godin JP, Pinaud S, Cleroux M, Choisy C, Le
Plénier S, Bastic V, Neveux N, Cynober L, Moinard C.
 
Low calorie diets are designed to reduce body weight and fat mass, but they also 
lead to a detrimental loss of lean body mass, which is an important problem for
overweight people trying to lose weight. In this context, a specific dietary
intervention that preserves muscle mass in people following a slimming regime
would be of great benefit. Leucine (LEU) and Citrulline (CIT) are known to
stimulate muscle protein synthesis (MPS) in post-prandial and post-absorptive
state, respectively. This makes them interesting bioactive components to test in 
the context of dietary restriction. We tested the concept of combining LEU and
CIT in adult female rats. We postulated that the sequential administration of LEU
(mixed in chow) and CIT (given in drinking water before a rest period) could be
beneficial for preservation of muscle function during food restriction. Sixty
female rats (22 weeks old) were randomized into six groups: one group fed ad
libitum with a standard diet © and five food-restricted groups (60 % of
spontaneous intake for 2 weeks) receiving a standard diet (R group), a
CIT-supplemented diet (0.2 or 1 g/kg/day, CIT0.2 group and CIT1 group,
respectively), a LEU-supplemented diet (1.0 g/kg/day) or a CIT + LEU-supplemented
diet (CIT + LEU 1.0 g/kg/day each). At the end of the experiment, body
composition, muscle contractile properties and muscle protein synthesis (MPS)
rate were studied in the tibialis anterior muscle. Dietary restriction tended to 
decrease MPS (R: 2.5 ± 0.2 vs. C: 3.4 ± 0.4 %/day, p = 0.06) and decrease muscle 
strength (R: 3,045 ± 663 vs. C: 5,650 ± 661 A.U., p = 0.03). Only CIT
administration (1 g/kg) was able to restore MPS (CIT1: 3.4 ± 0.3 vs. R: 2.5 ± 0.2
%/day, p = 0.05) and increase muscle maximum tetanic force (CIT1: 441 ± 15 vs. R:
392 ± 22 g, p = 0.05) and muscle strength (CIT1: 4,259 ± 478 vs. R: 3,045 ± 663
A.U., p = 0.05). LEU had no effect and CIT + LEU supplementation had few effects,
limited to adipose mass and fatigue force. The results of this study highlight
the ability of CIT alone to preserve muscle function during dietary restriction. 
Surprisingly, LEU antagonized some effects of CIT. The mechanisms involved in
this antagonistic effect warrant further study.
 
DOI: 10.1007/s00726-013-1564-3 
 

[13] Mandel H, Levy N, Izkovitch S, Korman SH. Elevated plasma citrulline and arginine due to consumption of Citrullus vulgaris (watermelon). J Inherit Metab Dis. 2005;28(4):467-72. PubMed PMID: 15902549.

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I finally got caught up on reading this thread after being away for a while.  Lots of things caught my eye that I want to comment on.  One quickie first, Dean just mentioned watermelon rind above which I had also discovered in my research in connection with CE benefits, so I dutifully went about consuming several rinds for the first time in my life (this was a month ago), this resulted in severe GI discomfort that lasted for like 24 hours.  Of course only after the fact do I do more research and find articles that recommend eating watermelon rind also putting out the disclaimer "don't eat the outermost green skin part as it may upset your stomach" -- doh, I had eaten everything...  anyway just wanted to mention it so you don't end up in the same bad place I did  ;)

 

In other news - above Dean mentions CE's impact on muscle recovery from exercise.  This is another area of interest I had previously come across in my CE research.  It seems the good folks at Stanford have developed a "cooling glove" that might actually be a great alternative/adjunct way to do CE:

 

Stanford researchers' cooling glove 'better than steroids' – and helps solve physiological mystery, too

Supposedly so effective that NFL players are already using it for strength training purposes.

Edited by Gordo

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I am very interested in melatonin as it relates to CE and in fact was already planning weeks ago to post about this after further research so I was happy to find it discussed here in my recent "catch up".  Before CE I already had good sleep, but after CE it's even better.  In one interview with an early CE pioneer (I forget who) he said something to the effect of “CE before bed is like taking a horse tranquilizer”. I am amazed at how fast I fall asleep now, and how profoundly deep my sleep is.  This is one of those things that at first seems counter-intuitive, and a skeptic might think “these guys are delusional” — how can CE cause me to be super energized and alert in the mornings yet act like a horse tranquilizer at night?  It doesn’t make any sense.  But I believe melatonin is the key, and that there is some relationship between CE and melatonin (possibly induced by CE+darkness or possibly it's more of a continuous process but melatonin is released to the blood only at night?).  


 


I (currently) have no interest in taking melatonin as a supplement, I feel like my body is doing great producing its own.  I have not yet had the time to adequately research the relationships between CE and melatonin (that’s what Dean is for, hah!!) but I’ve heard of the connection in passing within some CE related reading I was doing.  Also fascinating to me, in doing more reading I discovered that the gastrointestinal (GIT) tract is responsible for 500 times the melatonin production compared to the pineal gland! This is of particular interest since CE’s positive impact on the gut biome has been documented, I’m wondering if its impact on GIT based melatonin production might be significant?


The study linked above specifically says:


“In the upper portion of GIT, melatonin exhibits a wide spectrum of activities such as circadian entrainment, free radicals scavenging activity, protection of mucosa against various irritants and healing of various GIT lesions such as stomatitis, esophagitis, gastritis and peptic ulcer.”

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Thanks Gordo,

 

Neat glove-based cooling technology from Stanford. Not easy to reproduce though, with the vacuum it uses and all...

 

As a poor-man's alternative for cold exposure (Sthira take note), even less expensive than our cooling vests, I just purchased a cooling towel - it's basically a shammy that you wet, wring out, and then put around your neck. It maintains moisture for quite a while (1-3 hours - depending on ambient conditions) and keeps you cool(er) as the water evaporates. The nice thing is that unlike a regular towel, it doesn't drip, and therefore doesn't get your clothes wet.

 

It's not nearly as effective as a cooling vest, but it is an easier, cheaper and less conspicuous adjunct/substitute, particularly if you want to walk around in public while remaining cool.

 

I wet it, pop it in the freezer, and then take it out and drape it around my neck (tucking it in my shirt) when I'm taking the dog out for a walk on a hot day. It really makes a difference. The one I purchased was $9.95. I just noticed that Aldi's has one on sale this week for $6.95 that looks quite similar, although I can't vouch for the Aldi's one, or any of the others (some less expensive) available on Amazon.

 

Gordo - regarding sleep, I too have found I'm sleeping incredibly well lately. Except for one brief trip to the bathroom, I'm sleeping deeply through the next right up to a few minutes before my alarm goes off - something that rarely used to happen before I started CE. Even during my very brief (25min) late-morning power nap I seem to be sleeping more deeply than ever before.

 

--Dean

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Dean, regarding your analysis around lactate, it's very interesting that lactate promotes fat browning.  You found (through blood testing) that your lactate levels are high - which is good, and might be attributed to cold exposure, or your endurance training, or both.  Regardless, your commentary seemed to use this at least partially to justify your extreme endurance training (which as you noted, I find questionable).


 


I remain skeptical of the value of endurance exercise, especially if a person were to combine it with cold exposure.  Your more extreme CE (both in duration and intensity) however is clearly sufficient to offset any possible counterproductive aspect of the endurance training.  My thought was that someone reading this thread might get the idea that it's OK to do endurance exercise simultaneously with CE which most likely is not going to work very well (unless they are doing very extreme CE, which I do not advise).  To me that is tantamount to being in a cold room but curled up in a subzero sleeping bag.  That said, I'm sure you aren't ONLY doing CE while exercising...


 


This interesting article from Scientific American dispels many myths around lactic acid.  If a goal was to produce lactate naturally, continuous low intensity endurance exercise is not an efficient way of going about it.  Lactate is most efficiently produced by strenuous exercise (short duration, intense, anaerobic activity) which is the type of exercise I do.  In fact endurance exercise training reduces lactate production.  Part of my health practice is focused on cultivating fast twitch muscle fiber (while endurance training would result in the opposite).


 


That said, I am by NO MEANS trying to influence you to change your ways (nor do I think I could), I think it's fantastic that we have a mix of people trying different things here, if we were all doing the same thing this place would be boring and we wouldn’t learn as much.  


 


It was good to read about others’ glucose improvements in this thread, there is also a guy from the Facebook CR Society group who decided to give CE a try after seeing my posts there about it, he is diabetic, and reported seeing a dramatic improvement in his blood sugar as a result of CE - I tried to encourage him to post in the forums (no luck yet).  A diabetic coworker also asked me for some information when she saw my big pile of "ice packs" in the company freezer at work - I sent her the link to my CE LongeCity thread she seemed a bit overwhelmed by the science part, but could easily understand the practical application part especially with the glucose readings showing the results that might be achieved. I've been delighted to see her frequently now getting ice from the freezer at work, haha.


 


 


Regards,


Gordo

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Gordo,

 

You are right that if one's sole goal was to generate lactic acid / lactate, strenuous anaerobic exercise would seem like the way to go. That was why I was a surprised to see my lactate level elevated, since I very rarely sprint or get really winded. Perhaps there is a synergy between cold exposure and low-intensity exercise when it comes to lactate production.

 

It's neat to see others with glucose metabolism issues benefiting from your encouragement to give CE a try. But I've been a bit underwhelmed by the Longecity community's response to the thread on CE you started. Really only you, me and Drew seem to have engaged on the thread...

 

--Dean

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As a poor-man's alternative for cold exposure (Sthira take note), even less expensive than our cooling vests, I just purchased a cooling towel

 

Thats funny, because just 3 days ago, I also ordered some cooling towels (I think we had the same inspiration, Aldi, haha).  After some brief research, I believe the best cooling towel material is PVA.  Incredibly, you can order these on ebay for $1.27 (includes shipping!) from a seller with fantastic feedback.  I figured I had little to lose, so I ordered a couple.

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Gordo,

 

Thanks for the pointer to the ebay cooling towels. I ordered a couple myself - can't beat the price, as you say, although only available now in yellow and light green. Of course, they are shipping from Hong Kong, so I don't expect to get them until fall...

 

--Dean

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