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Dean Pomerleau

Cold Exposure & Other Mild Stressors for Increased Health & Longevity

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You can't just look at it as a single factor.  In what country/region do large groups of people practice cold exposure + optimal nutrition + optimal BMI?  I haven't found any such cohort, but it would certainly be great if it existed.  Eskimos and similar groups are pretty notorious for poor diets (when they aren't freezing to death).  "Rich" countries have had indoor heating for a very long time, so no serious cold exposure, and before they were rich, they had poor nutrition.  To eat an optimal diet you need lots of fruit and vegetables, and where do the most fruits and vegetables grow best?  Warmer climates.  

 

For sure we need more long term human studies (maybe a few people from this group will be called upon by future researchers), but the best available evidence we have right now seems to be very encouraging, and has certainly caught the attention of many active researchers lately.  For people looking for a more concise (compared to this long thread) summary of the science, I attempted to do this here.  In the very least, the benefits of good glucose control are very well established, and I don't believe you need to have impaired glucose control to benefit.  Cold exposure seems like an excellent way to achieve optimal glucose control (but again there are no long term studies in humans with this regard that I am aware of).

 

As for the Summer/Winter idea, hard to say if there are benefits to seasonal vs. daily cycles of cold/warm.  I don't do cold around the clock, and frankly don't think it's a good idea.  When my immune system is actively fighting something, I also cut back on the cold exposure practice.  And for me, Winter cold exposure is more intense than Summer cold exposure for a number of reasons:  Room temps at my house being a big reason, ability to have extremely cold air from outside in the winter that I can use whenever I want it (particularly while driving), and finally the water coming into my house comes from a river, that river water is FAR colder in the winter than Summer, making cold showers much more extreme in the Winter).

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Diabetes Much More Prevalent in Southern US - Coincidence?!

 

After repeatedly discounting the possibility of learning anything meaningful about the health benefits of cold exposure from epidemiological studies, I'll shamelessly point to a new one [1] out today, just because it's so timely and striking given Mike's question about the evidence (or lackthereof) for cold exposure health/longevity benefits at the population level:

 

I am beginning to have similar thoughts about cold exposure that I had many years ago wrt CR. WHERE IS THE EVIDENCE IN HUMANS! many populations live in very cold climates. I know the confounders are complicated with epidemiology, but heck the Greenland Eskimos, Icelanders, humans who work outside in places like Alaska, life expectancy of warm developed countries vs frigid ones etc. And I don't mean the evidence like brown fat etc. The only thing that counts are actual benefits in terms of longevity and health outcomes.

 

This new study looked at prevalence of diabetes by county in the US between 1999 and 2012. Here is the passage I found most striking and relevant:

 

Diagnosed diabetes prevalence was highest among counties in the deep South (excluding Florida), near the Texas-Mexico border, and in counties with Native American reservations in the four corners region of the Southwest and in North and South Dakota. In contrast, diagnosed diabetes prevalence was lowest among counties in the upper West and Midwest, parts of Alaska, and parts of New England. 

 

Here is the graph of US diabetes prevalence by county. The numbers represent an estimate of the percentage of adults with diagnosed or undiagnosed diabetes as of 2012:

 

YhrjyAY.png

 

The geographic distribution is pretty striking, with much higher prevalence in the southern US.

 

Could it be a result of the warmer climate in the deep south? Perhaps, but obviously there are a lot of other differences between folks who live in the south vs. north, so it's virtually impossible to attribute the difference in diabetes risk to any particular factor, including cold exposure.

 

But...  I will reproduce the graph discussed in this post from [2] showing how HBA1c levels vary by seasonal temperature in climates where the seasons change, suggesting cool environmental temperatures are associated with better glucose control on a population level:

 

WniF1xw.png

 

Here is how the authors of [2] describe their results:

 

So does BAT abundance affect glycaemia over time? Because BAT is known to be most abundant in winter (Saito et al., 2009), we probed this question by examining the relationship between glycaemia and outdoor temperature in 65,535 patients who had blood tests throughout a 1-year period. Environmental temperature correlated positively with glycated haemoglobin, a measurement of overall glucose control (Figure S3).

 

Notice how the nadir in temperature and HBA1c occur in the middle of the year? That's because the 65K people tested in their study were residents of Sidney Australia, where the middle of winter occurs around July, when average outdoor temperature drops to around 55 °F (13 °C). The warmest month in Sidney is January, when the average temperature is 73 °F (23 °C). That is a pretty small range of temperatures compared with northern cities in the US (Pgh: 28°F → 73°F, Boston: 28°F → 75°F), and a pretty cool summer temperature (73°F) compared with cities in the southern US (Dallas: 85 °F,  Phoenix: 93 °F). So I would expect the seasonal variation in HBA1c to be even greater in northern US cities, and a lot higher on average in hot southern US cities, although obviously that will depend on outdoor exposure time, and a lot of other things...

 

HBA1c is a pretty unreliable measure of glucose control for healthy individuals, as I've pointed out previously. But population-wide it's a pretty good indicator of diabetes risk. And there is clearly strong evidence from both animals and people that cold exposure improves glucose metabolism via glucose-burning BAT (e.g. [2]), and as we've discussed, there are good mechanistic models for why this is the case.

 

Does all this add up to slam-dunk evidence that exposure to cold is beneficial for preventing diabetes? Perhaps not. But to me it seems at least as compelling the human epidemiological evidence supporting the efficacy of serious CR for life extension, which actually isn't saying very much...

 

--Dean

 

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

[1] Diabetes Care 2016 Sep; 39(9): 1556-1562. 

 
Diagnosed and Undiagnosed Diabetes Prevalence by County in the U.S., 1999–2012
 
Laura Dwyer-Lindgren1⇑, Johan P. Mackenbach2, Frank J. van Lenthe2, Abraham D. Flaxman1 and Ali H. Mokdad1
 
Abstract
 
OBJECTIVE Previous analyses of diabetes prevalence in the U.S. have considered either only large geographic regions or only individuals in whom diabetes had been diagnosed. We estimated county-level trends in the prevalence of diagnosed, undiagnosed, and total diabetes as well as rates of diagnosis and effective treatment from 1999 to 2012.
 
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS We used a two-stage modeling procedure. In the first stage, self-reported and biomarker data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) were used to build models for predicting true diabetes status, which were applied to impute true diabetes status for respondents in the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS). In the second stage, small area models were fit to imputed BRFSS data to derive county-level estimates of diagnosed, undiagnosed, and total diabetes prevalence, as well as rates of diabetes diagnosis and effective treatment.
 
RESULTS In 2012, total diabetes prevalence ranged from 8.8% to 26.4% among counties, whereas the proportion of the total number of cases that had been diagnosed ranged from 59.1% to 79.8%, and the proportion of successfully treated individuals ranged from 19.4% to 31.0%. Total diabetes prevalence increased in all counties between 1999 and 2012; however, the rate of increase varied widely. Over the same period, rates of diagnosis increased in all counties, while rates of effective treatment stagnated.
 
CONCLUSIONS Our findings demonstrate substantial disparities in diabetes prevalence, rates of diagnosis, and rates of effective treatment within the U.S. These findings should be used to target high-burden areas and select the right mix of public health strategies.
 
 
PMID: Not available
 
-------------
[2] Diabetes. 2014 Dec;63(12):4089-99. doi: 10.2337/db14-0746. Epub 2014 Jul 23.
 
Brown adipose tissue improves whole-body glucose homeostasis and insulin
sensitivity in humans.
 
Chondronikola M(1), Volpi E(2), Børsheim E(3), Porter C(3), Annamalai P(4),
Enerbäck S(5), Lidell ME(5), Saraf MK(3), Labbe SM(6), Hurren NM(3), Yfanti C(7),
Chao T(8), Andersen CR(3), Cesani F(9), Hawkins H(10), Sidossis LS(11).
 
 
Abstract
Brown adipose tissue (BAT) has attracted scientific interest as an antidiabetic
tissue owing to its ability to dissipate energy as heat. Despite a plethora of
data concerning the role of BAT in glucose metabolism in rodents, the role of BAT
(if any) in glucose metabolism in humans remains unclear. To investigate whether 
BAT activation alters whole-body glucose homeostasis and insulin sensitivity in
humans, we studied seven BAT-positive (BAT(+)) men and five BAT-negative (BAT(-))
men under thermoneutral conditions and after prolonged (5-8 h) cold exposure
(CE). The two groups were similar in age, BMI, and adiposity. CE significantly
increased resting energy expenditure, whole-body glucose disposal, plasma glucose
oxidation, and insulin sensitivity in the BAT(+) group only. These results
demonstrate a physiologically significant role of BAT in whole-body energy
expenditure, glucose homeostasis, and insulin sensitivity in humans, and support 
the notion that BAT may function as an antidiabetic tissue in humans.
 
 
PMCID: PMC4238005
PMID: 25056438

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What is there to say?

 

Textiles
This Week in Science
Science  02 Sep 2016:
Vol. 353, Issue 6303, pp. 1000
http://science.sciencemag.org/content/353/6303/twis.full
    Keeping cool without losing your shirt
        Brent Grocholski
    People use clothing to retain warmth in cold weather. But what about clothing to keep us cool when it is hot? The challenge is to find a material that lets radiation from the human body pass through but that is opaque to visible light. Hsu et al. have created a nanoporous polyethylene textile that has both of these characteristics (see the Perspective by Boriskina). The key feature of the material is the pore size, which can be tuned to absorb visible light while being almost invisible to mid-infrared radiation. The material is water-wicking and strong and keeps skin much cooler than cotton.
    Science, this issue p. 1019; see also p. 986
=============================
Perspectives
    Nanoporous fabrics could keep you cool
    By Svetlana V. Boriskina
    Science02 Sep 2016 : 986-987 Full Access
    Engineered polyethylene materials are opaque but allow heat to radiate
Article
From early days when animal skins were the season's fashion until modern times, clothes have been typically engineered for comfort in cold environments by tailoring their thermal conduction. Air pockets in feathers, furs, and woolen fabrics help reduce thermal conduction and keep warmth inside. Cooling, however, is much harder to achieve without the use of external active devices such as fans, air conditioners, or wearable thermoelectric coolers. The wicking technology used in modern athletic apparel to enhance convective cooling is not ideal for everyday clothes because it only works once perspiration begins. On page 1019 of this issue, Hsu et al. (1) report passive cooling of an object by a few Celsius degrees by simply allowing thermal radiation to pass efficiently through a nanoporous fabric. This demonstration may make possible wearable technologies for personalized cooling and paves the way for energy savings by reduced use of air conditioning.
The human body is an almost perfect emitter of thermal radiation in the mid-infrared (IR) spectral range. However, conventional fabrics block mid-IR waves by partially reflecting them and partially absorbing the thermal energy. The stark variations in the intensity of the thermal emission from the bare skin and through clothes can be easily observed in photos taken with an IR camera. Thus, clothes made from fabrics that are transparent to the mid-IR radiation emitted by the skin offer an opportunity to shed energy via thermal emission (2–4). Transparent clothes might sound like an odd idea because the fabric needs to be opaque in the visible range but transparent for mid-IR radiation.
A simple solution to this dilemma is offered by the Mie theory of resonant scattering from objects with sizes either comparable with or much smaller than the wavelength of the propagating electromagnetic field. This same physical effect causes the blue color of the sky caused by the scattering of the short wavelength part of the solar spectrum by the small molecules of the atmosphere. Likewise, fabrics with pore sizes that are comparable on average with the wavelength of visible light (400 to 700 nm) scatter visible light strongly and make the fabric opaque to human eyes. However, if the pore sizes are much smaller than the body's mid-IR radiation wavelength (7 to 14 µm), such fabrics are still highly transparent to the thermal emission (2).
Fine hairs covering the body of the Saharan silver ant reflect sunlight to avoid overheating.
   "PHOTO: N. N. SHI ET AL. (6)"
Hsu et al. used a commercially available polyethylene material—nanoporous polyethylene (nanoPE), which has interconnected pores 50 to 1000 nm in diameter—to experimentally demonstrate radiative cooling (see the photo). Their spectral transmission measurements revealed that the nanoPE exhibits >90% total IR transmittance for wavelengths longer than 2 µm but is completely opaque in the visible spectrum because of the strong scattering off the nanopores. The ideal size distribution of the nanopores sets this material apart from conventional fabrics, such as those woven from cotton or polyester fibers with sizes comparable with the wavelength of the body thermal emission.
Polyethylene is far from being a conventional material for making clothes, but it has another advantage: It is mostly absorption-free in the mid-IR spectral range owing to the absence of C-O, C-N, and S=O vibrational stretching modes that are typical for other textile materials. To increase the fabric comfort, the authors modified the material so as to improve its breathability and to add water-wicking functionality by chemically modifying the fabric to be hydrophilic. Clothes fabricated from such IR-transparent textile could allow for air conditioning setpoints to be set higher than usual while maintaining the same level of personal thermal comfort. Depending on the climate, a 1 to 4 Celsius degree increase in the setpoint temperature could save up to 45% of the energy required for the building's cooling (5).
Although Hsu et al. provide the experimental demonstration of the artificial cooling fabrics designed for humans, nature already offers analogous solutions for the animal thermal control. One striking example of such natural nanotechnology is the skin hair cover of the Saharan silver ant (see the figure) (6). The hairs are fine enough to strongly scatter and reflect sunlight to avoid overheating by absorption. At the same time, they are transparent at IR wavelengths for shedding heat. Removal of the hairs increased the ant temperature by a couple of Celsius degrees.
Much remains to be done to bring the radiative cooling technology to the clothing market. Other materials need to be explored or synthesized that would provide the required level of mid-IR transparency combined with a higher level of personal comfort and durability. Fabrics woven from fine fibers (2) rather than those made by introducing nanopores into continuous films can open possibilities for using conventional textile fabrication technologies and equipment to facilitate the technology-to-market transition. IR-transparent dyes and pigments also need to be investigated and synthesized to maintain the cooling functionality of colored fabrics. However, the approach used by Hsu et al. could be used to address the thermal management of tents, buildings, and vehicles (3, 7, 8) with considerable energy savings.
===============================
Radiative human body cooling by nanoporous polyethylene textile
By Po-Chun Hsu, Alex Y. Song, Peter B. Catrysse, Chong Liu, Yucan Peng, Jin Xie, Shanhui Fan, Yi Cui
Science02 Sep 2016 : 1019-1023
http://science.sciencemag.org/content/353/6303/1019.full
Abstract
Thermal management through personal heating and cooling is a strategy by which to expand indoor temperature setpoint range for large energy saving. We show that nanoporous polyethylene (nanoPE) is transparent to mid-infrared human body radiation but opaque to visible light because of the pore size distribution (50 to 1000 nanometers). We processed the material to develop a textile that promotes effective radiative cooling while still having sufficient air permeability, water-wicking rate, and mechanical strength for wearability. We developed a device to simulate skin temperature that shows temperatures 2.7° and 2.0°C lower when covered with nanoPE cloth and with processed nanoPE cloth, respectively, than when covered with cotton. Our processed nanoPE is an effective and scalable textile for personal thermal management.

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Green Tea Catechins Boost BAT (Balloon Flower Too)!

 

Here is a new one [1] that's interesting both because of its novel methodology for measuring BAT, and because it reinforces a result we've seen before, namely that green tea boosts BAT, an effect that holds in humans [2] and rodents [3] is apparently due to reduced norepinephrine breakdown [2] and is synergistic with caffeine [4].

 

In this new study, 22 young (~21 years), slim (~21 BMI), healthy women were given either a 350ml "catechin-rich beverage" or a a placebo drink or once daily for 12 weeks. The beverage was a commercially available green tea energy drink (something like this Healthya Green Tea beverage from Kao - BTW, the authors don't report any conflicts of interest or industrial sponsorship), fortified with extra catechins, to bring the total up to 540 mg catechins per 350ml bottle. Since good quality Japanese Sencha has about 110 mg of total catechins (pdf) per gram of dry tea, that would seem to be the equivalent of about 5g of loose tea, or the 2-3 tea bags worth per day. Seemingly not an excessive amount. Interestingly, that is exactly the amount I use in my Witches brew.

 

Each week during the 12 week study, they measured the total hemoglobin content (total-Hb) in the women's supraclavicular region (around the collarbone) as well as a nearby control location (deltoid muscle of the shoulder) known not to contain BAT. Rather than use the standard technique for measuring BAT (18F-fluorodeoxy glucose (FDG)-positron emission tomography (PET) combined with computed tomography (CT) scanning (FDG-PET/CT)), they used a near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) method that has recently been validated [5] as an alternative to the much-more-invasive FDG-PET/CT scanning method.

 

Basically the NIRS method uses a principle similar in some respects to what happens when you shine a strong flashlight through the palm of your hand. Since flesh lets red light penetrate the deepest (green is absorbed and blues are scattered at the surface) the hemoglobin-rich blood scatters but doesn't absorb the residual red photons allowing them to penetrate through to the other side of your hand resulting in a red glow. You can read about the technical details here and here. NIRS exploits this effect in a quantitative fashion to measure hemoglobin content below a patch of skin, a measure which was shown in [5] to correlate with with BAT as measured by FDG-PET/CT, because BAT has more capillaries to supply blood along with the metabolites it needs (oxygen, glucose, fatty acids) to burn to generate heat.

 

Having been involved in several brain imaging studies that used NIRS while at Intel & CMU, I know this kind of machine is still quite expensive - a lot cheaper than MRI machines, but still in the $10-20K price range. Not a real option for home hobbyists...

 

But what they found with NIRS was pretty impressive, despite the small size of the study. They found that after 12 weeks of drinking the green-tea beverage, total hemoglobin went up nearly 20% in the supraclavicular region but remained unchanged in the deltoid region. Here are the graphs showing total-HB per week in the supraclavicular (left) and deltoid (right) regions and average change in total-HB across the subjects between baseline and the end of the study (bottom):

 

eROhMmN.png

 

A reasonably strong effect, given how few women there were in the study. Nevertheless, I'd still be a little skeptical if this were the only evidence that the catechins in green tea boost BAT. But coupled with the other evidence listed above and detailed in that previous post, I'd say the evidence is pretty strong that green tea boosts BAT. I'm reemphasizing it in the master list of BAT and thermogenesis inducers at the bottom. 

 

In the discussion, the authors point out that catechins inhibit the breakdown of norepinephrine, which we all know is critical for both BAT/beige fat synthesis and activity. The authors say the small amount of caffeine in the beverage may have helped a little too (caffeine upregulating intracellular cyclic AMP which also boosts BAT), but that the amount of caffeine in their beverage (80mg = 1 cup of coffee) has been shown not to have much of an effect on BAT. The authors acknowledge that the BAT-boost from their beverage was less than previously observed with cold exposure, but nonetheless might be an appealing alternative to CE:

 

Although the degree of increasing in BAT mass was smaller than previous cold exposure studies, the result of this study widens the choice of methods for increasing BAT activity/mass. Daily ingestion of a catechin-rich beverage may be useful as an easier and more convenient treatment than chronic cold exposure once the effectiveness for the increase in BAT [has been validated using FDG-PET/CT in a larger study].

 

One other study out today that I'm mention but not profile in depth - study [6] looked at the effects of feeding mice extract from the root of the balloon flower, aka bellflower (scientific name Platycodon grandiflorus), a medicinal plant also know as doraji that looks a lot like ginger or tumeric root, and which is used in Korea and China as both a medicinal herb and a culinary ingredient (also like ginger and tumeric). They found that mice fed a diet consistent of 5% (by weight - obviously a quite high dose!) of this extract exhibited increased expression of thermogenic genes (such as SIRT1, PPARα, PGC1α, and UCP1), burned more fat and expended more energy than controls fed a normal chow diet. The extract also improved insulin sensitivity, upregulated adiponectin and reduced fatty liver in mice fed a high fat diet. This is consistent with Korean traditional medicine, where it is used to treat diabetes and other inflammatory diseases, as well as with controlled studies where it has been shown to potentially have neuroprotective, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, anti-allergy, improved insulin resistance, and cholesterol-lowering properties [7].

 

Hmmm... That sounds pretty interesting. I've added it to the BAT inducer list below. Balloon flower / Bellflower (Platycodon Grandiflorus) root extract is available in powder or tincture form but seeds for growing it are also readily available. They are really pretty purple flowers - I think I may try growing some next spring, and try eating the root at the end of the season! 

 

--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
  • 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
  • Luteolin-rich foods - Herbs (thyme, parsley, oregano, peppermint, rosemary), hot peppers, citrus fruit, celery, beets, spinach, cruciferous veggies, olive oil, carrots. 
  • Healthy Fats - DHA / EPA / fish-oil, MUFA-rich diet,  Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Fiber - Especially cereal fiber (wheat and oat fiber)
  • Olive Polyphenols - Extra Virgin Olive Oil / Olive Leaf Extract / Olive Leaf Tea
  • 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, melatonin
  • Medicinal Herbs - ginseng, cannabidiol / hemp oil / medicinal marijuana, balloon flower root (Platycodon Grandiflorus)
  • 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, TT for FTO SNP rs1421085 and AA for rs4994 as reported by 23andMe]

 

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

[1] Springerplus. 2016 Aug 18;5(1):1363. doi: 10.1186/s40064-016-3029-0. eCollection 

2016.
 
Daily ingestion of catechin-rich beverage increases brown adipose tissue density 
and decreases extramyocellular lipids in healthy young women.
 
Nirengi S(1), Amagasa S(2), Homma T(3), Yoneshiro T(4), Matsumiya S(5), Kurosawa 
Y(6), Sakane N(1), Ebi K(7), Saito M(8), Hamaoka T(6).
 
 
PURPOSE: Brown adipose tissue (BAT) contributes to the regulation of
non-shivering thermogenesis and adiposity. Increasing BAT has recently attracted 
much attention as a countermeasure to obesity. Animal studies have shown that
prolonged catechin treatment increases uncoupling protein 1, a thermogenic
protein in BAT. On the other hand, supportable evidence in human is lacking.
Thus, the purpose of this study was to examine whether BAT increases after
catechin ingestion in humans.
METHODS: Twenty-two healthy young women were given either a catechin-rich
(540 mg/day; catechin) or placebo beverage every day for 12 weeks in a
double-blind design. BAT density was measured using near-infrared time-resolved
spectroscopy (NIRTRS), visceral fat area were measured using magnetic resonance
imaging, extramyocellular lipids (EMCL) using proton magnetic resonance
spectroscopy, and body fat mass using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry scans.
RESULTS: BAT density was significantly increased (18.8 %), and EMCL was decreased
(17.4 %) after the 12-week ingestion. There was a significant negative
correlation between the changes in BAT density and those in EMCL (r = -0.66,
P < 0.05). There were no notable changes in other parameters.
CONCLUSIONS: In conclusion, prolonged ingestion of a catechin-rich beverage
increases the BAT density in parallel with a decrease in EMCL.
 
DOI: 10.1186/s40064-016-3029-0 

PMID: 27588256

 

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

[2] Am J Clin Nutr. 1999 Dec;70(6):1040-5.

 
Efficacy of a green tea extract rich in catechin polyphenols and caffeine in
increasing 24-h energy expenditure and fat oxidation in humans.
 
Dulloo AG(1), Duret C, Rohrer D, Girardier L, Mensi N, Fathi M, Chantre P,
Vandermander J.
 
Author information: 
(1)Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Geneva.
abdul.dulloo@unifr.ch
 
 
BACKGROUND: Current interest in the role of functional foods in weight control
has focused on plant ingredients capable of interfering with the sympathoadrenal 
system.
OBJECTIVE: We investigated whether a green tea extract, by virtue of its high
content of caffeine and catechin polyphenols, could increase 24-h energy
expenditure (EE) and fat oxidation in humans.
DESIGN: Twenty-four-hour EE, the respiratory quotient (RQ), and the urinary
excretion of nitrogen and catecholamines were measured in a respiratory chamber
in 10 healthy men. On 3 separate occasions, subjects were randomly assigned among
3 treatments: green tea extract (50 mg caffeine and 90 mg epigallocatechin
gallate), caffeine (50 mg), and placebo, which they ingested at breakfast, lunch,
and dinner.
RESULTS: Relative to placebo, treatment with the green tea extract resulted in a 
significant increase in 24-h EE (4%; P < 0.01) and a significant decrease in 24-h
RQ (from 0.88 to 0.85; P < 0.001) without any change in urinary nitrogen.
Twenty-four-hour urinary norepinephrine excretion was higher during treatment
with the green tea extract than with the placebo (40%, P < 0.05). Treatment with 
caffeine in amounts equivalent to those found in the green tea extract had no
effect on EE and RQ nor on urinary nitrogen or catecholamines.
CONCLUSIONS: Green tea has thermogenic properties and promotes fat oxidation
beyond that explained by its caffeine content per se. The green tea extract may
play a role in the control of body composition via sympathetic activation of
thermogenesis, fat oxidation, or both.
 
PMID: 10584049
 
--------
[3] J Nutr Biochem. 2003 Nov;14(11):671-6.
Green tea reduces body fat accretion caused by high-fat diet in rats through
beta-adrenoceptor activation of thermogenesis in brown adipose tissue.
 
Choo JJ(1).
 
Author information:
(1)Department of Foods and Nutrition, Kunsan National University, Kunsan,
Cheollabuk-do 573-701, South Korea. jjchoo@kunsan.ac.kr
 
The aim of the present study was to investigate body fat-suppressive effects of
green tea in rats fed on a high-fat diet and to determine whether the effect is
associated with beta-adrenoceptor activation of thermogenesis in brown adipose
tissue. Feeding a high-fat diet containing water extract of green tea at the
concentration of 20g/kg diet prevented the increase in body fat gain caused by
high-fat diet without affecting energy intake. Energy expenditure was increased
by green tea extract which was associated with an increase in protein content of
interscapular brown adipose tissue. The simultaneous administration of the
beta-adrenoceptor antagonist propranolol(500 mg/kg diet) inhibited the body
fat-suppressive effect of green tea extract. Propranolol also prevented the
increase in protein content of interscapular brown adipose tissue caused by green
tea extract. Digestibility was slightly reduced by green tea extract and this
effect was not affected by propranolol. Therefore it appeared that green tea
exerts potent body fat-suppressive effects in rats fed on a high-fat diet and the
effect was resulted in part from reduction in digestibility and to much greater
extent from increase in brown adipose tissue thermogenesis through
beta-adrenoceptor activation.
 
PMID: 14629899
 
-------------
[4] Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2000 Feb;24(2):252-8.
 
Green tea and thermogenesis: interactions between catechin-polyphenols, caffeine 
and sympathetic activity.
 
Dulloo AG(1), Seydoux J, Girardier L, Chantre P, Vandermander J.
 
Author information: 
(1)Institute of Physiology, University of Fribourg, Fribourg, Switzerland.
abdul.dulloo@unifr.ch
 
 
The thermogenic effect of tea is generally attributed to its caffeine content. We
report here that a green tea extract stimulates brown adipose tissue
thermogenesis to an extent which is much greater than can be attributed to its
caffeine content per se, and that its thermogenic properties could reside
primarily in an interaction between its high content in catechin-polyphenols and 
caffeine with sympathetically released noradrenaline (NA). Since
catechin-polyphenols are known to be capable of inhibiting
catechol-O-methyl-transferase (the enzyme that degrades NA), and caffeine to
inhibit trancellular phosphodiesterases (enzymes that break down NA-induced
cAMP), it is proposed that the green tea extract, via its catechin-polyphenols
and caffeine, is effective in stimulating thermogenesis by relieving inhibition
at different control points along the NA-cAMP axis. Such a synergistic
interaction between catechin-polyphenols and caffeine to augment and prolong
sympathetic stimulation of thermogenesis could be of value in assisting the
management of obesity. International Journal of Obesity (2000) 24, 252-258
 
PMID: 10702779
 
------------
[5] Adv Exp Med Biol. 2016;876:371-6. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-3023-4_46.
 
Evaluation of Brown Adipose Tissue Using Near-Infrared Time-Resolved
Spectroscopy.
 
Nirengi S(1), Yoneshiro T(2), Saiki T(3), Aita S(4), Matsushita M(5), Sugie H(6),
Saito M(7), Hamaoka T(8).
 
 
Human brown adipose tissue (BAT) activity (SUVmax) has been typically evaluated
by 18F-fluorodeoxy glucose (FDG)-positron emission tomography (PET) combined with
computed tomography (CT). In this study, the objective was to detect human BAT by
near-infrared time-resolved spectroscopy (NIRTRS), a noninvasive and simple
method for measuring total hemoglobin concentration [total-Hb] and reduced
scattering coefficient (μs') in the tissue. The [total-Hb] in the supraclavicular
region of the BAT (+) (SUVmax≥2.0) group was 95.0±28.2 μM (mean+/-SD), which was 
significantly higher than that of the BAT (-) (SUVmax<2.0) group (52.0±14.8 μM), 
but not in other regions apart from the BAT deposits. The μs' in the
supraclavicular region of the BAT (+) group was 8.4±1.7 cm(-1), which was
significantly higher than that of BAT (-) group (4.3±1.0 cm(-1)), but not in
other regions. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve closest
to (0, 1) for [total-Hb] and μs' to discriminate BAT (+) from BAT (-) was 72.5 μM
and 6.3 cm(-1), respectively. The sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy for both
parameters were 87.5, 100, and 93.3%, respectively. Our novel NIRTRS method is
noninvasive, simple, and inexpensive compared with FDG-PET/CT, and is reliable
for detecting human BAT.
 
DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4939-3023-4_46 
PMID: 26782234
 
-----------
[6]  Nutrients. 2016 Aug 30;8(9). pii: E532.
 
Platycodon grandiflorus Root Extract Attenuates Body Fat Mass, Hepatic Steatosis 
and Insulin Resistance through the Interplay between the Liver and Adipose
Tissue.
 
Kim YJ(1,)(2), Choi JY(3,)(4), Ryu R(5,)(6), Lee J(7,)(8), Cho SJ(9,)(10), Kwon
EY(11,)(12), Lee MK(13), Liu KH(14), Rina Y(15), Sung MK(16), Choi MS(17,)(18).
 
The Platycodon grandiflorus root, a Korean medicinal food, is well known to have 
beneficial effects on obesity and diabetes. In this study, we demonstrated the
metabolic effects of P. grandiflorus root ethanol extract (PGE), which is rich in
platycodins, on diet-induced obesity. C57BL/6J mice (four-week-old males) were
fed a normal diet (16.58% of kilocalories from fat), high-fat diet (HFD, 60% of
kilocalories from fat), and HFD supplemented with 5% (w/w) PGE. In the HFD-fed
mice, PGE markedly suppressed the body weight gain and white fat mass to normal
control level, with simultaneous increase in the expression of thermogenic genes 
(such as SIRT1, PPARα, PGC1α, and UCP1), that accompanied changes in fatty acid
oxidation (FAO) and energy expenditure. In addition, PGE improved insulin
sensitivity through activation of the PPARγ expression, which upregulates
adiponectin while decreasing leptin gene expression in adipocytes. Furthermore,
PGE improved hepatic steatosis by suppressing hepatic lipogenesis while
increasing expression of FAO-associated genes such as PGC1α. PGE normalized body 
fat and body weight, which is likely associated with the increased energy
expenditure and thermogenic gene expression. PGE can protect from HFD-induced
insulin resistance, and hepatic steatosis by controlling lipid and glucose
metabolism.
 
DOI: 10.3390/nu8090532 
PMID: 27589792
 
------------
[7] Prev Nutr Food Sci. 2014 Jun;19(2):59-68. doi: 10.3746/pnf.2014.19.2.059.
 
Platycosides from the Roots of Platycodon grandiflorum and Their Health Benefits.
 
Nyakudya E(1), Jeong JH(2), Lee NK(2), Jeong YS(3).
 
Author information: 
(1)Research Center for Industrial Development of Biofood Materials, Chonbuk
National University, Jeonbuk 561-756, Korea ; Department of Food Science and
Technology, Chonbuk National University, Jeonbuk 561-756, Korea. (2)Research
Center for Industrial Development of Biofood Materials, Chonbuk National
University, Jeonbuk 561-756, Korea. (3)Department of Food Science and Technology,
Chonbuk National University, Jeonbuk 561-756, Korea.
 
The extracts and pure saponins from the roots of Platycodon grandiflorum (PG) are
reported to have a wide range of health benefits. Platycosides (saponins) from
the roots of PG are characterized by a structure containing a triterpenoid
aglycone and two sugar chains. Saponins are of commercial significance, and their
applications are increasing with increasing evidence of their health benefits.
The biological effects of saponins include cytotoxic effects against cancer
cells, neuroprotective activity, antiviral activity, and cholesterol lowering
effects. Saponins with commercial value range from crude plant extracts, which
can be used for their foaming properties, to high purity saponins such as
platycodin D, which can be used for its health applications (e.g., as a vaccine
adjuvant). This review reveals that platycosides have many health benefits and
have the potential to be used as a remedy against many of the major health
hazards (e.g., cancer, obesity, alzheimer's) faced by populations around the
world. Methods of platycoside purification and analysis are also covered in this 
review.
 
DOI: 10.3746/pnf.2014.19.2.059 
PMCID: PMC4103729
PMID: 25054103

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https://www.elysiumhealth.com/blog/the-key-components-of-basis-what-do-they-do-and-how-in-the-world-do-you-pronounce-them

 

Ok cold exposure "may" work but it's a pain in the ass and I have to also wonder about supplements out there in the market place. The one I cite above is particularly interesting because the founders of the company are serious researchers with impressive credentials. Sure there is a profit motive involved, but still I trust they would try to create something with potential because it's in their interests to do that. Of course that in itself is not enough, but I bring it up because there is so much attention here on cold exposure and little if any on these supplements. Currently a controlled trial using 120 real human beings is being done using basis the supplement they promote.

 

So my ? Why emphasize cold exposure and not promising supplements like pterostilbene and nicotinamide riboside??? It appears these also have considerable potential without the downside to QOL.

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Mike,

 

... but I bring it up because there is so much attention here on cold exposure and little if any on these supplements. 

 

Errr, perhaps because this is the thread about cold exposure, and not the thread about Elysium, pterostilbene and nicotinamide riboside, and not even this discussion of Elysium and an interview with the company founders? I'll note that the bat (not BAT) signal is still shining bright for Michael on that first thread...

 

Hint Mike - the forum search facility is your friend.

 

But if you really want to talk pills and potions, there are a seemingly limitless number of websites and blogs happy to discuss (and sell) the latest hot supplements for life extension, starting with Longecity.org and LEF.

 

--Dean

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https://www.elysiumhealth.com/blog/the-key-components-of-basis-what-do-they-do-and-how-in-the-world-do-you-pronounce-them

 

Ok cold exposure "may" work but it's a pain in the ass and I have to also wonder about supplements out there in the market place. The one I cite above is particularly interesting because the founders of the company are serious researchers with impressive credentials. Sure there is a profit motive involved, but still I trust they would try to create something with potential because it's in their interests to do that. Of course that in itself is not enough, but I bring it up because there is so much attention here on cold exposure and little if any on these supplements. Currently a controlled trial using 120 real human beings is being done using basis the supplement they promote.

 

So my ? Why emphasize cold exposure and not promising supplements like pterostilbene and nicotinamide riboside??? It appears these also have considerable potential without the downside to QOL.

 

 

CE certainly can be a pain in the ass, but you can also engage in it to whatever extent you find reasonable. For example, yesterday I was up at 6:00am and the temperature was near freezing. I went for a 30 minute jog in the cold wearing light shorts, a light shirt, and gloves (to quote Ray Cronise - gloves before sweater makes you look better). Then when I got home I drank a huge glass of ice/water while stretching, and had a cold shower.  Later in the day it was still very cold (7'c) and I did yard work outside for 1-2 hours.  Other than that I was in a comfortable house at 21'C for most of the day, but I certainly experienced some degree of cold exposure as I could feel it in the sensation of my skin all day.

 

This morning it was near freezing and I went for a 30 minute bike ride wearing very light clothing including small padded bike shorts.  With the added windchill of the bike it was certainly chilly, but it's short and intense, making it less of a pain in the ass. I'm sure I will feel the cold on the surface of my skin all day. Later today I will probably walk my dog in the cold for some time and that will be it for CE today.

 

Do what works for you!

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Hi drewab yeah I went for a walk this morning at 5am and only wore shorts. I will keep at it just in case it really does work. And Dean the posts u refer to really prove my point don't u think?

Edited by mikeccolella

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Mike,

 

Dean the posts u refer to really prove my point don't u think? 

 

My attitude is to pass on NR, pterostillbene, resveratrol, rapamycin or any other new promising life extending supplement until:

  1. It is shown to consistently and significantly extend lifespan in a well-designed, multi-site test in rodents (i.e. the Intervention Testing Program)  and 
  2. People start taking it whose opinion on such matters I respect and who don't have a vested interest in pitching it (e.g. Michael, Matt Kaeberlein or Richard Miller)

Regarding NR in particular, I acknowledge that some of the results look promising, but only in mice given what amounts to 8-16x the daily dose recommended for Elysium, which would cost $500-750 / month. That seems like a steep price to pay for an intervention that hasn't been thoroughly proven or side-effects well characterized at those dosages, even in rodents.

 

--Dean

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Castration induced Browning of BAT and Subcutaneous Fat
 
Well here is a good one with which to kick off the drastic curtailing of my jewels of wisdom around here. ☺
 
This new study [1] found:
 
[C]astration enhanced the expression of uncoupling protein 1 (Ucp1), a thermogenic protein, in brown adipose tissue (BAT) and subcutaneous (sc) white adipose tissue (WAT) in male mice. Castration of male mice increased body temperature and reduced body weight gain compared with those of sham-operated mice.
 
This is interesting because CR-induced low(ish) testosterone, and castration specifically, has long been thought to be one way of increasing longevity. So this is yet another example of the BAT rule - virtually every dietary or lifestyle intervention that is known to be healthy and/or longevity-promoting is also associated with an increase in BAT activity, browning of white fat and/or thermogenesis..
 
However, low testosterone (or loosing one's cahones), only works to boost BAT if you don't eat too much:
 
However ... the effect of castration was blunted by high-fat diet consumption, thermogenesis stimulation in response to castration is inhibited by chronic over-nutrition.

 

which jibes with this benefits pathway:

 

CR → ↓ testosterone → ↑ BAT & scWAT thermogenesis → improved metabolic health → ↑ longevity

 

It also jibes with the observation that hypogonadal men who become obese (or visa versa), aren't particularly healthy or long-lived. As we've seen, getting too chubby (or too scrawny) puts the kibosh on thermogenesis.

 

I've added "Low testosterone / castration in mice (and men?)" to the list of BAT and thermogenesis boosters. But please note - I don't recommend trying that second option at home. Cold exposure seems like a much preferable and practical way to boost BAT!

 

--Dean

 

-----------

[1] Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2016 Sep 5. pii: S0006-291X(16)31466-8. doi:

10.1016/j.bbrc.2016.09.017. [Epub ahead of print]
 
Castration induced browning in subcutaneous white adipose tissue in male mice.
 
Hashimoto O(1), Noda T(2), Morita A(2), Morita M(2), Ohtsuki H(2), Sugiyama M(2),
Funaba M(3).
 
Author information: 
(1)Kitasato University School of Veterinary Medicine, 35-1 Higashi 23,
Towada-shi, Aomori 034-8628, Japan. Electronic address:
ohashim@vmas.kitasato-u.ac.jp. (2)Kitasato University School of Veterinary
Medicine, 35-1 Higashi 23, Towada-shi, Aomori 034-8628, Japan. (3)Division of
Applied Biosciences, Kyoto University Graduate School of Agriculture,
Kitashirakawa Oiwake-cho, Kyoto 606-8502, Japan.
 
We demonstrated that castration enhanced the expression of uncoupling protein 1
(Ucp1), a thermogenic protein, in brown adipose tissue (BAT) and subcutaneous
(sc) white adipose tissue (WAT) in male mice. Castration of male mice increased
body temperature and reduced body weight gain compared with those of
sham-operated mice. BAT Ucp1 mRNA expression in castrated male mice was
significantly higher than that in sham-operated mice. Histologically, cells with 
multilocular fat droplets were observed in the castrated inguinal scWAT.
Immunohistochemical staining revealed that these cells positively reacted with
the anti-Ucp1 antibody. The Ucp1-positive area near the inguinal lymph node in
the castrated WAT was extensive compared with that of the sham-operated WAT.
Castration-induced Ucp1 up-regulation in scWAT was suppressed by high-fat diet
feeding. These findings suggest that thermogenesis by BAT activation and scWAT
browning contribute to castration-induced inhibition of body weight gain.
However, considering that the effect of castration was blunted by high-fat diet
consumption, thermogenesis stimulation in response to castration is inhibited by 
chronic over-nutrition.
 
Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Inc.
 
DOI: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2016.09.017 
PMID: 27608598
 

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

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
  • Luteolin-rich foods - Herbs (thyme, parsley, oregano, peppermint, rosemary), hot peppers, citrus fruit, celery, beets, spinach, cruciferous veggies, olive oil, carrots. 
  • Healthy Fats - DHA / EPA / fish-oil, MUFA-rich diet,  Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Fiber - Especially cereal fiber (wheat and oat fiber)
  • Olive Polyphenols - Extra Virgin Olive Oil / Olive Leaf Extract / Olive Leaf Tea
  • 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, melatonin
  • Medicinal Herbs - ginseng, cannabidiol / hemp oil / medicinal marijuana, balloon flower root (Platycodon Grandiflorus)
  • 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
  • Low testosterone / castration in mice (and men?)
  • [being naturally thin - high metabolic rate]
  • [being younger]
  • [being female]
  • [Ethnicity - having cold-climate ancestors]
  • [being of genotype TT for rs1800592, TT for FTO SNP rs1421085 and AA for rs4994 as reported by 23andMe]

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I had been wondering how months of Summer heat might impact my results from cold exposure since my CE intensity is much lower than it was over the winter months.  This week we had a major heat wave where I live, and my house has been >80F all week (90's outside).  I took a couple fasting glucose readings, looks like the heat has had little to no impact.  The first was after cold shower, chipped ice drinks, and wearing the techkewl vest (9/8/16):

56.jpg

 

The next day (9/9/16), I wanted to see what would happen with less CE.  This is after a cold shower and some crushed ice drinks, but no cooling vest.  

66.jpg

There was no exercise prior to either test.

 

Some studies just published in the last couple of days:

 

Intérêt de l’exposition au froid pour le traitement du diabète de type 2

"We have shown that type 2 diabetic patients have very low levels of BAT. Most interestingly, cold acclimation in type 2 diabetes patients resulted in a very marked improvement in insulin sensitivity, although BAT activity was only marginally affected."

 

This second article contains a very nice review of many topics discussed in this thread including energy turnover, althlete's paradox, and the role of muscle ("...these findings clearly demonstrate that the significant improvement in insulin sensitivity can be attributed to skeletal muscle tissue, rather than to BAT")

 

Combatting type 2 diabetes by turning up the heat

"...many of the interventions that increase energy expenditure have marked metabolic health effects. Given the relatively minor effects on whole-body 24 h energy expenditure, which is often also compensated for by increased energy intake, the beneficial effects of interventions such as exercise and cold exposure cannot be attributed to weight loss... most intervention studies in which energy expenditure is elevated do show beneficial metabolic health effects without changes in body weight."

 

"...there is clear evidence that boosting energy turnover may have a direct beneficial health effect as it is underscored by studies in which energy turnover is increased by inducing mitochondrial uncoupling. Overexpression of the mitochondrial uncoupling proteins UCP1 or UCP3 in skeletal muscle increases energy expenditure and improves insulin sensitivity [2628]. Mitochondrial uncoupling can, apart from exercise training or cold exposure, also be increased by chemical agents such as 2,4-dinitrophenol (DNP)"

 

"...these results suggest that mitochondrial uncoupling, likely to lead to enhanced energy turnover, improves glucose homeostasis in rodents and humans."

125_2016_4068_Fig1_HTML.gif

At the cellular level, turnover of energy and substrates is driven by energy demand, either because ATP is needed for cellular processes or because the efficiency of ATP formation is reduced by mitochondrial uncoupling (Fig. 2). In the cell, an increase in energy use can lead to alterations in the AMP/ATP and NAD+/NADH ratios resulting in the activation of among others AMPK (Fig. 2) [5254] and sirtuin 1 (SIRT1) [55]. 

 

 

125_2016_4068_Fig2_HTML.gif

 

"...glucose is oxidised in high amounts by BAT when activated, although the direct contribution of glucose oxidation to total thermogenesis in BAT is believed to be relatively small compared with that of fat oxidation, somewhere in the range of 10–16% [92105106]. It is likely that the glucose that is taken up is mainly used for the synthesis of glycerol-3-phosphate and triacylglycerols and also for the supply of extramitochondrial ATP through glycolysis to support fatty acid esterification to triacylglycerol and other cellular functions [107]"

 

"In type 2 diabetes patients ... [cold] acclimation increased BAT activity significantly but levels were still very low [91]. Very interestingly, insulin sensitivity increased after cold acclimation by 43% on average [91]. It is very unlikely that the small increase in BAT activity could be responsible for this improved insulin sensitivity. In fact, the study showed that the improved insulin sensitivity could be explained by enhanced GLUT4 translocation in skeletal muscle in the basal state, an effect that had been previously observed in cold-acclimated rats [115] and has been confirmed in obese humans [116]. Although the mechanisms responsible for GLUT4 translocation upon cold stimulation remain to be elucidated, these findings clearly demonstrate that the significant improvement in insulin sensitivity can be attributed to skeletal muscle tissue, rather than to BAT, and may involve increased energy turnover. However, since BAT increased in all participants after cold acclimation, an indirect role for BAT (e.g. by secreting BATokines) cannot be fully excluded."

Edited by Gordo

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Gordo,

 

Great finds! I really like the improvements in glucose metabolism observed in diabetics after cold exposure but w/o increase in BAT activity. I wonder if it's beige fat that is burning the calories, or maybe the sarcolipin story (sorry no times for links). The BATokines reference at the end is interesting, in light of this new review paper [1]. It is a review of the role BAT plays as a secretory organ:

 

BAT can release regulatory molecules that act on other tissues and organs. This secretory capacity of BAT is thought to be involved in the beneficial effects of BAT transplantation in rodents.Fibroblast growth factor 21, IL-6 and neuregulin 4 are among the first BAT-derived endocrine factors to be identified. 

 

As I recall (no time for a link) FGF-21 potentiates glucose metabolism, so that could be the route by which diabetics benefit from cold exposure without observing much additional actual BAT thermogenesis.

 

Anyway, good stuff. It seems that cold exposure, thermogenesis, and the pathways CE upregulate (in synergy with CR) are looking more and more promising as a health and quite possibly longevity promoting intervention.

 

Thanks so much Gordo for picking up the slack while I've been otherwise occupied. It has not gone unnoticed, and is much appreciated...

 

--Dean

 

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

[1] Nat Rev Endocrinol. 2016 Sep 12. doi: 10.1038/nrendo.2016.136. [Epub ahead of

print]
 
Brown adipose tissue as a secretory organ.
 
Villarroya F(1,)(2), Cereijo R(2), Villarroya J(2), Giralt M(1,)(2).
 
Author information: 
(1)Departament de Bioquímica i Biomedicina Molecular, Institut de Biomedicina,
Universitat de Barcelona, Avda Diagonal 643, 08028-Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain.
(2)CIBER Fisiopatología de la Obesidad y Nutrición, Facultat de Biologia,
Universitat de Barcelona, Avda Diagonal 643, 08028-Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain.
 
Brown adipose tissue (BAT) is the main site of adaptive thermogenesis and
experimental studies have associated BAT activity with protection against obesity
and metabolic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes mellitus and dyslipidaemia.
Active BAT is present in adult humans and its activity is impaired in patients
with obesity. The ability of BAT to protect against chronic metabolic disease has
traditionally been attributed to its capacity to utilize glucose and lipids for
thermogenesis. However, BAT might also have a secretory role, which could
contribute to the systemic consequences of BAT activity. Several BAT-derived
molecules that act in a paracrine or autocrine manner have been identified. Most 
of these factors promote hypertrophy and hyperplasia of BAT, vascularization,
innervation and blood flow, processes that are all associated with BAT
recruitment when thermogenic activity is enhanced. Additionally, BAT can release 
regulatory molecules that act on other tissues and organs. This secretory
capacity of BAT is thought to be involved in the beneficial effects of BAT
transplantation in rodents. Fibroblast growth factor 21, IL-6 and neuregulin 4
are among the first BAT-derived endocrine factors to be identified. In this
Review, we discuss the current understanding of the regulatory molecules (the
so-called brown adipokines or batokines) that are released by BAT that influence 
systemic metabolism and convey the beneficial metabolic effects of BAT
activation. The identification of such adipokines might also direct drug
discovery approaches for managing obesity and its associated chronic metabolic
diseases.
 
DOI: 10.1038/nrendo.2016.136 
PMID: 27616452

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What's the best way to turn my tummy cold.  I bought a blender for blending ice water to down, but the ice clumps together.  I'm also thinking even if I find a way to make the blended ice not stick together, I will be suffering from ice-cream headache.  Any ideas for making a tummy cold, via mouth, fast?

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Kenton, you are right, I've never been a big fan of eat/drinking slushies (or smoothies).  I don't do this personally.  I like chipped ice better (goes down easier and no brain freezes).  My fridge does the chipping for me at home.  At work I use regular big ice cubes, filling a large mug to the top, the I add very hot water which weakens, slightly shrinks, and cracks the cubes.  I'm also a big fan of frozen berries.  

 

I do wonder how much relative value there is to cooling from the stomach vs. other methods - at first the idea sounds great, what better way to cool your core than from the core (inside your body) but perhaps it is more effective to directly cool muscles and brown fat "hot spots"?  Hard to tell.  These bad boys are only about a dollar each: 

Polar Tech TP32/MS Ice Brix Viscous Gel Moisture Safe Refrigerant Cold Pack, 10" Length x 6" Width x 1-1/2" Thick (Case of 9)

These are what I use now to ice down while at the office (thighs) and at night before bed (supraclavical and back of neck areas).  I do still use ice drinks and cooling vest in addition though.  FYI: You have to wrap those gel cold packs in something before putting them in the freezer or they will stick together (saran wrap, plastic bag, cooling towel or other cloth all work).

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Not sure what you mean by "tummy cold" but with a fan on and wake up at 4:00 ish and an outside temp of 59 sipping iced coffee was enough to keep me in a chilled state this morning for hours. Breakfeast at 800 was all cold food and it too along with a room temp around 65 and only wearing shorts with air blowing on me kept me quite Cold! Yesterday was even better the temp was 51 outside early morning.

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Gordo,

 

FYI: You have to wrap those gel cold packs in something before putting them in the freezer or they will stick together (saran wrap, plastic bag, cooling towel or other cloth all work).

 

I've finally ripped all the felt off my Polar Tech cold packs - now they don't stick. I hated that felt anyway, got all over everything. Can't beat the price though...

 

--Dean

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All these new foods would greatly expand my list of BAT inducers, even if we eliminate the fried potatoes & animal products due to their other health downsides. So I'm going to do some consolidation to the list.

 

Here is the latest full list of modifiable and [non-modifiable] factors associated with increased BAT quantity and/or activity:

  • 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
  • Other foods - green tea, roasted coffee, cacao beans / chocolate
  • Drugs - metformin, caffeine
  • Exercise
  • Fasting
  • Low protein diet
  • Avoid obesity/overweight

...

 

This list of BAT inducers is looking more and more like a "who's who" list of the best known foods & lifestyle choices for health and longevity. It's pretty amazing, and perhaps not coincidental, that they all have been shown to increase BAT activity...
 
--Dean
 

 

 

 

The interesting thing is that I eat/do almost everything on that list daily, for reasons unrelated (as far as I knew when I added them to my daily routine) to BAT.  I added cold exposure and wasabi specifically because of the studies linking them to BAT activation, but the rest (aside from metformin and camphor, which I don't use) I added to my routine at different times due to studies current to the time I added them.

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I've been swamped with my day job lately, but the steady flow of new journal articles related to this topic continues...

 

See: 

Eicosapentaenoic Acid Regulates Brown Adipose Tissue Metabolism in High Fat Fed Mice and in Clonal Brown Adipocytes

OK, we already knew that fatty acids are the primary fuel for BAT, but these guys looked specifically at EPA:  "Our results demonstrate a novel and promising role for EPA in preventing obesity via activation of BAT, adding to its known beneficial anti-inflammatory effects."  This article gets bonus points for its diagram with BAT fire ;)

 

Next:

Metabolic programming of a beige adipocyte phenotype by genistein.

What they found was the genistein was observed to play a role in the browning of fat cells.  "We conclude that genistein acts directly on adipocytes or on adipocyte progenitor cells to programme the cells metabolically to adopt features of beige adipocytes. Thus, this natural dietary agent may protect against obesity and related metabolic disease [by] promoting the development of brown or beige adipose tissue... and potentially underlies protective effects of genistein in mice."

 

Some background info on genistein:  "Isoflavones such as genistein and daidzein are found in a number of plants including lupinfava beanssoybeanskudzu, and psoralea being the primary food source,[2][3] also in the medicinal plantsFlemingia vestita[4] and F. macrophylla,[5][6]and coffee.[7] It can also be found in Maackia amurensis cell cultures.[8]"

 

Next - lets look at grains!


Lipolysis and thermogenesis in adipose tissues as new potential mechanisms for metabolic benefits of dietary fiber

"Dietary fiber consumption is associated with reduced risk for the development of noncommunicable diseases. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effects of cereal dietary fiber on the levels of proteins involved in lipolysis and thermogenesis in white adipose tissue (WAT) and brown adipose tissue (BAT)...  Mice in the H-oat and H-wheat groups showed an increasing trend in serum adiponectin level. Compared with the HFD group, cereal dietary fiber increased protein expressions involved in the lipolysis and browning process. Compared with the H-wheat group, H-oat was more effective in protein expressions of PKA, PGC-1 α, and UCP1 of the WAT samples. Compared with the H-oat group, H-wheat was more effective in protein expressions of PKA, ATGL, UCP1, β3AR, and FGF-21 of the BAT samples. Conclusions: ...our results suggested that cereal dietary fiber enhanced adipocyte lipolysis by the cAMP-PKA-HSL pathway and promoted WAT browning by activation of UCP1, and consequently reduced visceral fat mass in response to HFD feeding."

 

This study looked specifically at leucine (as a reference, here's a list of foods rich in leucine many of which are already on Dean's list): 

CHRONIC LEUCINE SUPPLEMENTATION IMPROVES LIPID METABOLISM IN C57BL/6J MICE FED WITH A HIGH-FAT/CHOLESTEROL DIET

"leucine supplementation reduced the body weight and improved the lipid profile of mice fed with a HFCD. This beneficial effect was ascribed to hepatic lipogenesis, adipocyte lipolysis, and WAT browning."

 

 

OK, most of these things were already on Dean's list, but it never hurts to have more scientific backing (especially in light of the fact that so many studies cannot be reproduced).  At any rate: EPA, foods rich in leucine, whole grains (oats, wheat), and genistein (lupin, fava beans, soybeans, kudzu, and psoralea) belong on the BAT utility belt.  

 

Next up - have you ever wondered why BAT declines with age?  These guys may have discovered one piece of the puzzle:

A transcribed ultraconserved noncoding RNA, uc.417, serves as a negative regulator of brown adipose tissue thermogenesis

 

"It is well established that aging is accompanied by a decline of brown adipocyte regenerative capacity. How aging contributes to this loss is poorly understood. Here, we identify a long noncoding RNA, uc.417, which is transcribed from an ultraconserved region in rodents. Expression of uc.417 increases with age. Ectopic expression of uc.417 impairs adipogenesis and thermogenic program in brown adipocytes. However, uc.417 is not required for brown fat function. In vivo, uc.417 attenuates cold-induced thermogenic program in mouse BAT. Moreover, we find that uc.417 moderately inhibits phosphorylation of p38MAPK without affecting the total protein level of p38MAPK. The p38MAPK pathway is essential for activating BAT to stimulate uncoupling protein 1 gene expression. The data point to uc.417 as being an important factor in an age-dependent loss of function of brown adipose tissue."

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Now this thread is about brown fat. I started reading it when Todd suggested the cold shower might be the thing to get my fingernails back. Fingernails are so efficient I need them. Anyway I read the whole thread and I like the little chart that keeps updating the best. I bet everyone does. I like the whole thread and I feel hope to do CE this year for my nails sake. The chart is the what and the why is because I now have to live in this 20% smaller body at least for awhile.

Now I just have to learn the how for what applies to me. Brown fat won't help me much at this size to heat me up but there are lots of things on the list that will and I think to remember the how of what I try on there I use the search thread function. I am grateful to all who take the time to share this knowledge of how it works to be thin. You guys are awesome!

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What's the best way to turn my tummy cold.  I bought a blender for blending ice water to down, but the ice clumps together.  I'm also thinking even if I find a way to make the blended ice not stick together, I will be suffering from ice-cream headache.  Any ideas for making a tummy cold, via mouth, fast?

 

 

Try cinnamon supplementation. It not only cools the stomach by 2 degrees, but there are demonstrated overall health outcomes of such - see:

 

Potential of in vivo real-time gastric gas profiling: a pilot evaluation of heat-stress and modulating dietary cinnamon effect in an animal model

 

 

Abstract

 

"Gastroenterologists are still unable to differentiate between some of the most ordinary disorders of the gut and consequently patients are misdiagnosed. We have developed a swallowable gas sensor capsule for addressing this. The gases of the gut are the by-product of the fermentation processes during digestion, affected by the gut state and can consequently provide the needed information regarding the health of the gut. Here we present the first study on gas sensor capsules for revealing the effect of a medical supplement in an animal (pig) model. We characterise the real-time alterations of gastric-gas in response to environmental heat-stress and dietary cinnamon and use the gas profiles for understanding the bio-physiological changes. Under no heat-stress, feeding increases gastric CO2 concentration, while dietary cinnamon reduces it due to decrease in gastric acid and pepsin secretion. Alternatively, heat-stress leads to hyperventilation in pigs, which reduces CO2 concentration and with the cinnamon treatment, CO2 diminishes even more, resulting in health improvement outcomes. Overall, a good repeatability in gas profiles is also observed. The model demonstrates the strong potential of real-time gas profiler in providing new physiological information that will impact understanding of therapeutics, presenting a highly reliable device for monitoring/diagnostics of gastrointestinal disorders."

 

This study was in animals, but it was in pigs, which were chosen specifically because of the similarity of their gastric system to humans. All in all, the effect of cinnamon was pretty dramatic, and not just as a temperature marker, but resulted in actual improvements in health outcomes. I'd say that speaks very strongly in favor of considering cinnamon supplementation.

 

 

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Now this thread is about brown fat. I started reading it when Todd suggested the cold shower might be the thing to get my fingernails back. Fingernails are so efficient I need them. Anyway I read the whole thread and I like the little chart that keeps updating the best. I bet everyone does. I like the whole thread and I feel hope to do CE this year for my nails sake. The chart is the what and the why is because I now have to live in this 20% smaller body at least for awhile.

Now I just have to learn the how for what applies to me. Brown fat won't help me much at this size to heat me up but there are lots of things on the list that will and I think to remember the how of what I try on there I use the search thread function. I am grateful to all who take the time to share this knowledge of how it works to be thin. You guys are awesome!

 

Paula, perhaps more important then the brown fat is the beiging of white fat with added mitochondria making it more metabolically active because we have much more of it than brown fat likely making a greater contribution to total metabolic health.

 

As for my Reynaud's symptoms I'm pretty certain this winter is going to go far better for me than in years past.  A couple days ago I rode my homemade mobility scooter to a doctor's office 5 miles away to have a hernia checked out in 58F rain wearing a T shirt and shorts.  My hands discolored, but instead of going purple or blue they were deep crimson red and only moderately more so than the rest of my body.  They did get somewhat cold but it wasn't painful and there was no pins & needles sensation on warming.  They took my body temp as part of vitals and it was 97.3 F, so my core was chilled.  In years past I would have bundled up and kept my core warm as advised and even wearing gloves in similar conditions my fingers would have been white/yellow with blue tips.  My doctor commented on how good my skin and nails are looking.

 

I think the cold bathing is part of the reason for better tolerance, but there have been so many other changes, 30+ lbs weight loss, vitamin supplements - 2 g/day B3 may be a factor, low carb diet, hot bathing, exercise, etc. that I really can't say what is responsible for the improvement.

 

They did another blood test of glucose/lipid panel, etc. and I wonder if the cold exposure significantly impacts it?  Should get the results soon.

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