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Dean Pomerleau

Cold Exposure & Other Mild Stressors for Increased Health & Longevity

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But if you really want to boost BAT maximally, cold exposure while sedentary is much more effective.

I remember long ago speculating that this might be the case, its great to see some scientific data on this though.  Along the same lines, I feel like this is another argument for HIIT type exercise as opposed to long cardio type workouts (jogging / treadmill / elliptical machines).

In regards to cooling vests - just an update, but I've now been using my techkewl vest for 3.5 years, I bought it on Dean's recommendation/link way back when he started this thread.  Back then I think it cost around $170 but today the price has come down a lot.  I can tell you that it is quite durable, I was expecting to have to replace those cooling packs, but they are still fine, no leaks, and they work like they did on day one.  I can also say that the 58 degree F phase change temp seems pretty great - its not extreme like some other vests, which people may give up on and stop wearing after a while, nor is it excessively heavy.  I have even been known to take my vest on vacations and charge it overnight at hotels (if there is no mini-freezer, I charge it using ice piled up below and above the cooling packs in the sink overnight).  If its hot I'll wear it under another shirt so the cooling packs are directly against my skin, it does look a little goofy, but the cooling is wonderful (if you are skinny like most CR folk, it just makes you look fat like a typical American):

96508933_coolingvest1.jpg.07eec63d31102bb7dc62d21d7cd7739c.jpg

It's also really nice to wear outside on a hot day when you are working/gardening/etc.

If you want to kick the cooling up a notch, you can just add ice bags to the mix, you can stick them right under the top straps of the cooling vest on the supraclavicular region.  I usually also combine wearing the cooling vest with drinking ice water - thereby simultaneously cooling my core externally and internally.

Edited by Gordo

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I've been wearing my vest lately too after a hiatus. I too find it quite effective and durable. But it's also pretty heavy and bulky.

So yesterday, after reading several paper that use circulating cold water vests for their CE protocol, I broke down and ordered this one from Amazon for $229. Here is a picture of the front:

71bj7Kq9zmL._SL1500_.jpg

It has a water reservoir and battery-powered pump that zips up in the back. It only weighs ~5lbs (~12lbs with 3L reservoir) and cools for ~3h before you need to swap out the reservoir (I bought a spare).

It gets great reviews as does the backpack version.

It is arriving tomorrow. I'll do a full review after I've tried it out.

Yeah - my wife says I'm crazy 🙂

--Dean

Update: Actually I realized I don't have the Techkewl vest Gordo's been wearing, but the Cool Fat Burner vest, which look bulkier than the Techkewl model. I still suspect circulating ice water will provide more consistent cooling than ice pack vests like the Techkewl or Cool Fat Burner, since the water will be circulating. But I'll report back once I've tried it.

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I'd be curious if someone here, who is just starting, or resuming the practice of regular cold exposure, is running tests before beginning CE, to see what effects regular CE might have in their particular case in say, six months? I'd be interesting, even as anecdotal evidence (presuming other variables such as diet, caloric intake and exercise remain roughly the same).

It'd be particularly informative to see if there are notable changes in blood glucose, lipids, HSCRP and triglycerides. And anything else of note.

I kind of did this when I cut my olive oil intake and saw a difference.

It'd be interesting.

Edit, @Dean Pomerleau

Since Dean is just restarting CE (if my understanding is correct) and since he also just had a physical, including a blood panel, it may be a good personal experiment.

 

Edited by Ron Put

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P.S. Here is the temperature-adjustable circulating cold water vest from Polar Products that was used in [1] to quantify BAT activation that got me thinking about a circulating cold water vest.

I was encouraged by the discussion of estimating the shivering threshold of subjects, since I find I almost never reach my shivering threshold with cold-pack based vests.

But the Polar Products model  $1350, and even I'm not that crazy :-). So I found one the $229 vest on Amazon that seems similar in terms of its design, but self-contained, portable and a lot less expensive, without the temperature adjustment or the continuous chiller.

--Dean

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[1] Front Physiol. 2017 Nov 2;8:863. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2017.00863. eCollection 2017.

A New Personalized Cooling Protocol to Activate Brown Adipose Tissue in Young
Adults.

Martinez-Tellez B(1)(2), Sanchez-Delgado G(1), Garcia-Rivero Y(3)(4), Alcantara
JMA(1), Martinez-Avila WD(1), Muñoz-Hernandez MV(1), Olza J(4)(5)(6), Boon MR(2),
Rensen PCN(2), Llamas-Elvira JM(3)(4), Ruiz JR(1).

Brown adipose tissue (BAT) activity is induced when humans are exposed to cold.

Therefore, cold exposure prior to the 18F-FDG-PET/CT scan is used as a tool to
quantify BAT. Several cooling protocols, including fixed and personalized ones
are currently in use. The aim of the present study was to determine the effect of
a new personalized cooling protocol where the shivering threshold was measured on
a separate day, on BAT volume and activity in young adults. A total of 47 adults 
(n = 28 women) aged 22 ± 2 years participated in the study. We determined
participants' shivering threshold (visually and self-reported) using a water
perfused cooling vest in an air-conditioned cold room. 48-72 h later,
participants wore the cooling vest set at ~4°C above the shivering threshold for 
60 min prior to injection of 18F-FDG and ~5°C above the shivering threshold for
~60 min after injection, until PET/CT scan. We quantified BAT following BARCIST
1.0 recommendations. We identified 40 participants (85%, n = 25 women) as PET+
and 7 (n = 3 women) as PET-. The PET+ group presented significantly higher BAT
volume and activity than PET- group (all P < 0.05). PET+ women had higher BAT
mean activity than PET+ men (SUVmean: 5.0 ± 1.6 vs. 3.6 ± 0.9 g/ml respectively, 
P = 0.003), and there were no significant sex differences in BAT volume (P =
0.161). A total of 9 out of 47 participants did not shiver during the shivering
threshold test. Our findings are similar to previous cold-stimulated human BAT
studies; therefore, we conclude that our personalized cooling protocol is able to
activate BAT in young adults.

DOI: 10.3389/fphys.2017.00863 
PMCID: PMC5673647
PMID: 29163207 
 

 

 

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The circulating vest looks nice, I await your review.  I don't like batteries though, wish it had an option to just plug it in.  I love that you can just dump ice cubes into it, that makes it super easy/convenient (plus when on the road every hotel pretty much has an ice cube machine).  Its not clear if you can use that thing while laying on your back (seeing as how the bladder/pump/battery are attached to the back), one of the comments talks about kinks and being careful about the pump on the back.  If it really cools at 36 degrees which is the low range cited in the description, that could also be a problem (excessively cold) but I guess you could just wear a shirt under it.

I wonder how much effort it would take to just make your own circulating cooling vest.  Coil of copper tubing from any hardware store, a 5 gallon bucket with water/ice in it, and a cheap aquarium pump are about all you need for a simple design intended for sedentary use.

Edited by Gordo

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Gordo,

18 minutes ago, Gordo said:

I don't like batteries though, wish it had an option to just plug it in. 

I actually prefer not to be tethered to an electrical outlet, but under the Q&A for the backpack version it sounds like you can plug it in:

Q: What is the usb cable in the backpack for? 
A: USB cable allows power bank operation if 7.4v battery no power, also it is fine to assemble usb cigar lighter to use vehicle power. 
By Compcooler Technology on April 28, 2019
Quote

Its not clear if you can use that thing while laying on your back

Agreed. I bet you can't. But I don't often lie down with my cold vest.

Quote

I wonder how much effort it would take to just make your own circulating cooling vest.  Coil of copper tubing from any hardware store, a 5 gallon bucket with water/ice in it, and a cheap aquarium pump are about all you need for a simple design intended for sedentary use.

I'm sure it would be doable. But this looks like a much better engineered solution than I'd be able to cobble together, given my track record. 🙂

I'll know more tomorrow.

--Dean

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Ah, it was mccoy who just had a physical, not Dean.

But maybe Dean should run a blood panel before embarking on the cold vest journey and tell us what changed in six months?

Or maybe Dean can convince mccoy to get one of these vests :D

Edited by Ron Put

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OMG Gordo, Devil’s Tower! One of my favorite memories! Back in 2006 my wife and I took a cross country camping trip, staying in National Parks along the way. Devil’s Tower - our tent entrance had an unobstructed direct view of that amazing rock, and we stayed an extra night because of the magnificent view in the morning waking up to that magic, lying in our sleeping bags, just meditating on that miracle! I even bought a T-shirt with the tower at the camping gift shop, still have it.

More on topic, I’m slowly coming around to the idea of giving CE a try. As usual, for me the stumbling block is the protocol. I don’t quite have the time at the moment to do extensive research, so I’m a bit stuck. I’d certainly be interested in how other folks here do it, who have more experience. It could be a shortcut to get me going until I have a bit more time to do my own work... I just know that if I wait until all the stars are aligned I’ll procrastinate forever. One reason I sprang for Inspiratory Muscle Training is because there’s been so little research you can pretty much cover it all in a week or so, and thus I can’t go down too many rabbit holes 😉

So if anyone wants to kindly share their protocols, I’m all ears!

 

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1 hour ago, Ron Put said:

But maybe Dean should run a blood panel before embarking on the cold vest journey and tell us what changed in six months?

See here. My weight and lifestyle are quite close to that period. I've been doing too much CE lately for new set of blood tests to serve as a good baseline. Maybe Tom will do a before/after test. I'd be most interested in glucose tolerance testing before and after, since it seemed both Gordo and I saw significant improvements with CE, although neither of us were as rigorous about the testing as we could have been. I liked Gordo's ice cream sundae experiment (here too). 

Dean 

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50 minutes ago, TomBAvoider said:

So if anyone wants to kindly share their protocols, I’m all ears!

Tom, 

Here is a post where I discuss protocols shown to be effective at boosting BAT in carefully controlled trials. A couple hours a day in shorts and a t-shirt at 62F should be effective. 

Since it isn't practical to get ambient temperature that low in summer, lately I've been wearing my cold vest for ~3h / day while walking slowly at my treadmill desk and another ~3h sitting around reading etc. For both I've got a strong fan blowing on me too. 

This is in addition to a couple minute cold shower and sleeping in a room at 70F with no shirt or sheet and with a fan blowing on me. 

Dean 

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Thank you Dean, I'll hone in on the material, and I should be up on it in a reasonable amount of time.

And yes, I should get a baseline on a few things like blood glucose, blood pressure and so on.  

Edited by TomBAvoider

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22 hours ago, Dean Pomerleau said:

Tom, 

Here is a post where I discuss protocols shown to be effective at boosting BAT in carefully controlled trials. A couple hours a day in shorts and a t-shirt at 62F should be effective. 

Since it isn't practical to get ambient temperature that low in summer, lately I've been wearing my cold vest for ~3h / day while walking slowly at my treadmill desk and another ~3h sitting around reading etc. For both I've got a strong fan blowing on me too. 

This is in addition to a couple minute cold shower and sleeping in a room at 70F with no shirt or sheet and with a fan blowing on me. 

Dean 

Dude, you are hardcore! And your numbers are generally amazing.

I agree with you that exercise is highly beneficial and that calorie deficit is the important factor for CR (I posted a study confirming in a couple of other threads, but this is also supported by population studies: the folks in most the Blue Zones I am aware of, engage in higher than average physical activity).

I also think it's likely that given your diet, CR and exercise, the added cold exposure may have a minimal beneficial effect. But, whatever it is, I can't argue with your numbers.

But I am still curious as to the isolated longer-term effect of just cold exposure. So, if someone here, like Tom above, is about to embark on CE, it'd be great to do a blood test before they do, and compare the results to another blood test six month or a year later.

Edited by Ron Put

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So if anyone wants to kindly share their protocols, I’m all ears!

I described my protocol here (and for Ron - note that I include lots of links to STUDIES on HUMANS showing impact to biomarkers):

https://www.longecity.org/forum/topic/87615-brownbeige-adipose-tissue-activation-bat-via-cold-exposure-and-diet-for-health-and-longevity/

I didn't mention my evening routine which I've described elsewhere.  In general I like to ice down after meals if possible (I only eat 2 meals a day, with lunch being the first and largest - meals include bat activating superfoods, see Dean's latest list), I will typically begin serious cooling leading up to lunch as well.  In the evening I like to do cold shower before bed, and cooling vest (58 degrees) + ice bags to the supraclavicular region for maybe an hour before bed. On commute days I'd wear the cooling vest on my way in to work and as soon as I get out of work plus I'll drink ice water all day long at the office (and at home). 

I don't do any special cooling while I sleep like Dean - I tried this but it was too disruptive to my sleep and I consider solid sleep more important than almost anything you can do for your health.  That said, I do drop the house temp to 61F while I sleep IN WINTER which I guess is pretty cold, but I use blankets.  I used to drop it to 58F but my wife complained so I added 3 degrees for her.  In the Summer I would love the same cool sleep temps but won't do it due to the environmental impact/footprint despite getting all of my electricity from solar - another off topic tangent. 

I will sit outside with no shirt on in cold weather, even as low as 15F (-9C) if there is some sun hitting my skin or in cooler temps sit in the woods with no shirt on while I work via wireless/laptop (sometimes mosquito netting is required) - this has dual purpose, CE as well as independent (possible) benefits of forest bathing.

I also generally do not do cooling while exercising, but my philosophy on exercise is a lot different than consensus opinion (I believe excessive exercise is detrimental to longevity for the weird subset of people that already have optimized biomarkers of health though diet, and that minimal duration high intensity workouts are ideal, 5-15 minutes a day actual exercise + active lifestyle that includes things like gardening, chopping wood, or walking).

Pro tip: Icing down before bed will interfere with your sex life if you have one - so you might have to plan more carefully than you used to 😉

 

Edited by Gordo

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Protocols are different in different people. My main suggestion would be: follow common sense and avoid excess. At least in the beginning, then you can judge by yourself.

If I describe my protocol it may make little sense to you, since I've been a practitioner of CE since I was 15, although I interrupted it for many years and resumed it a few years ago when reading this forum.

Anyway: one very cold and pretty long shower after wake up, warming up in warm clothes often in front of a stove. Then dressing with a T-shirt and going to work trying to remain as cold as possible while being able to work. Intermittent exposures like walks in open air in a T-shirt. Opening cold air while driving in the mountains. Inviting shivering. And so on. At night I sleep in a warm enviroment. Also, warmth is not the devil but is useful to relax in my opinion. I tend to love intermittent, more than continuos exposure, with cold episodes sometimes almost brutal.

Sometimes the effect of CE is so exhilarating that you may get overboard with it and get into the exposure and dangerous zone, that's to be avoided. In temperatures below the freezing point of water caution should be exercised.

 

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Moderate CE + mild CR (20%) Preserves Brown/Beige Fat & Metabolic Health

This new study [1] found that in AL-fed mice housed at room temperature (10degF below mouse thermoneutrality), aging results in "whitening" of both brown adipose tissue (BAT) and subcutaneous white adipose tissue (scWAT) relative to young mice. Not surprisingly given the metabolic effects of brown and beige fat, these AL-fed middle-age mice also exhibited greater insulin resistance and more inflammation than younger mice. 

Mild CR (20% below AL) resulted in a reversal of this whitening in BAT and scWAT, along with reversing the age-related insulin resistance and inflammation observed in the AL-fed middle-aged mice. From the full text:

CR was accompanied by a significant higher expression of thermogenic genes analyzed as well as several genes involved in BAT differentiation. This, together with the recovery of a more brown‐like morphology, showing fewer unilocular adipocytes, suggested an improvement of BAT function or capability to respond to metabolic challenges.
and:
In parallel to a possible improved BAT function in CR animals, we observed the emergence of beige adipocytes with increased UCP‐1 and TH expression in scWAT, ...

But interesting, study [2] found that 40% CR (as opposed to the milder 20% CR used in this study) did not appear to result in scWAT beiging. Quoting from [1] again:

These data seem to contrast with others (Rogers et al., [2]), which described that after 10 months of 40% CR, no BAT‐like areas were detected in scWAT from 12‐m animals. 

It appears that the severely CRed mice in [2] had there thermogenic genes up-regulated, but that wasn't sufficient to turn their subcutaneous WAT to metabolically active beige fat. From [1] again:

Nevertheless, in line with our data [i.e. [1] - DP], the presence of multilocular cells and an attenuation of the age‐associated fall in the expression of genes involved in the thermogenic response such as Cidea, Cox7a1, and Cox8b were also described in scWAT from 12mCR animals in the same article [i.e. [2] - DP]. We speculate that increased thyroid function induced by CR and the stimulated β‐adrenergic pathway during cold‐induced thermogenesis could induce BAT to significantly upregulate genes and secrete molecules to promote browning of scWAT in CR middle‐aged mice. Nevertheless, the scarcity of fuel and energy reservoir may limit some of the ameliorating effects of CR on aging metabolism and, particularly, the thermogenic response of BAT under a long‐term cold exposure.

In other words, at normal (cold-for-mice) room temperature, both 20% CR and 40% CR upregulate expression of the genes for boosting BAT activity and the browning of scWAT. But particularly at the more severe level of CR, the "scarcity of fuel and energy reservoir" may prevent the boosting of BAT and beige fat, and therefore attenuate some of the metabolic benefits of CR, like improved glucose metabolism.

Relative to rodents, humans are more dependent on the beiging of subcutaneous white fat (scWAT) than increasing their true brown fat (BAT). So if serious CR prevents the beiging of scWAT, it would explain the surprisingly poor showing several of us (especially me), did on the glucose tolerance test in Luigi Fontana's 2010 study [3] of long-term CR folks, and subsequently the improvements in glucose clearance that seem to occur eating more calories coupled with consistent CE. See here for extensive discussion, including my own anecdotal improvement in glucose metabolism as a result of eating more calories in combination CE.

Bottom line - these studies ([1] and [2]) seem like additional evidence that moderate CR + cold exposure (rather than more severe CR without CE) is the way to go to ensure metabolic health as we age.

--Dean

P.S. Sorry for the delay on my review of my new circulating cold water cooling vest. It appears the UPS truck it was on broke down in Kentucky and its arrival has been delayed to this afternoon/evening.

--------

[1] Aging Cell [28 Mar 2019, 18(3):e12948] DOI: 10.1111/acel.12948

Long-term caloric restriction ameliorates deleterious effects of aging on white and brown adipose tissue plasticity.

Corrales P 1 ,  Vivas Y 1 ,  Izquierdo-Lahuerta A 1 ,  Horrillo D 1 ,  Seoane-Collazo P 2 ,  Velasco I 1 ,  Torres L 1 ,  Lopez Y 1 ,  Martínez C 1 ,  López M 2 ,  Ros M 1 ,  Obregon MJ 3 ,  Medina-Gomez G 1   

Age-related increased adiposity is an important contributory factor in the development of insulin resistance (IR) and is associated with metabolic defects. Caloric restriction (CR) is known to induce weight loss and to decrease adiposity while preventing metabolic risk factors. Here, we show that moderate 20% CR delays early deleterious effects of aging on white and brown adipose tissue (WAT and BAT, respectively) function and improves peripheral IR. To elucidate the role of CR in delaying early signs of aging, young (3 months), middle-aged (12 months), and old (20 months) mice fed al libitum and middle-aged and old mice subjected to early-onset CR were used. We show that impaired plasticity of subcutaneous WAT (scWAT) contributes to IR, which is already evident in middle-aged mice. Moreover, alteration of thyroid axis status with age is an important factor contributing to BAT dysfunction in middle-aged animals. Both defects in WAT and BAT/beige cells are ameliorated by CR. Accordingly, CR attenuated the age-related decline in scWAT function and decreased the extent of fibro-inflammation. Furthermore, CR promoted scWAT browning. In brief, our study identifies the contribution of scWAT impairment to age-associated metabolic dysfunction and identifies browning in response to food restriction, as a potential therapeutic strategy to prevent the adverse metabolic effects in middle-aged animals.

(PMID:30920127 PMCID:PMC6516146)

---------
[2] Aging Cell. 2012 Dec;11(6):1074-83. doi: 10.1111/acel.12010. Epub 2012 Oct 24.

Aging leads to a programmed loss of brown adipocytes in murine subcutaneous white
adipose tissue.

Rogers NH(1), Landa A, Park S, Smith RG.

Insulin sensitivity deteriorates with age, but mechanisms remain unclear.

Age-related changes in the function of subcutaneous white adipose tissue (sWAT)
are less characterized than those in visceral WAT. We hypothesized that metabolic
alterations in sWAT, which in contrast to epididymal WAT, harbors a subpopulation
of energy-dissipating UCP1+ brown adipocytes, promote age-dependent progression
toward insulin resistance. Indeed, we show that a predominant consequence of
aging in murine sWAT is loss of 'browning'. sWAT from young mice is
histologically similar to brown adipose tissue (multilocular, UCP1+), but becomes
morphologically white by 12 months of age. Correspondingly, sWAT expression of
ucp1 precipitously declines (~300-fold) between 3 and 12 months. Loss continues
into old age (24 months) and is inversely correlated with the development of
insulin resistance.
Additional age-dependent changes in sWAT include lower
expression of adbr3 and higher expression of maoa, suggesting reduced local
adrenergic tone as a potential mechanism. Indeed, treatment with a β3-adrenergic 
agonist [i.e. simulated cold exposure - DP] to compensate for reduced tone rescues the aged sWAT phenotype. 
Age-related changes in sWAT are not explained by the differences in body weight; mice subjected to 40% caloric restriction for 12 months are of body weight similar to 3-month-old ad lib fed mice, but display sWAT resembling that of age-matched ad lib fed mice (devoid of brown adipose-like morphology). Overall, findings identify the loss of 'browning' in sWAT as a new aging phenomenon and provide insight into the pathogenesis of age-associated metabolic disease byr evealing novel molecular changes tied to systemic metabolic dysfunction.

DOI: 10.1111/acel.12010 
PMCID: PMC3839316
PMID: 23020201  [Indexed for MEDLINE]

--------

[3] Age (Dordr). 2010 Mar;32(1):97-108. doi: 10.1007/s11357-009-9118-z. Epub 2009 Nov11.

Effects of long-term calorie restriction and endurance exercise on glucose
tolerance, insulin action, and adipokine production.

Fontana L(1), Klein S, Holloszy JO.

Author information: 
(1)Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA.
lfontana@dom.wustl.edu

Calorie restriction (CR) slows aging and is thought to improve insulin
sensitivity in laboratory animals. In contrast, decreased insulin signaling
and/or mild insulin resistance paradoxically extends maximal lifespan in various 
genetic animal models of longevity. Nothing is known regarding the long-term
effects of CR on glucose tolerance and insulin action in lean healthy humans. In 
this study we evaluated body composition, glucose, and insulin responses to an
oral glucose tolerance test and serum adipokines levels in 28 volunteers, who had
been eating a CR diet for an average of 6.9 +/- 5.5 years, (mean age 53.0 +/- 11 
years), in 28 age-, sex-, and body fat-matched endurance runners (EX), and 28
age- and sex-matched sedentary controls eating Western diets (WD). We found that 
the CR and EX volunteers were significantly leaner than the WD volunteers.
Insulin sensitivity, determined according to the HOMA-IR and the Matsuda and
DeFronzo insulin sensitivity indexes, was significantly higher in the CR and EX
groups than in the WD group (P = 0.001). Nonetheless, despite high serum
adiponectin and low inflammation, approximately 40% of CR individuals exhibited
an exaggerated hyperglycemic response to a glucose load. This impaired glucose
tolerance is associated with lower circulating levels of IGF-1, total
testosterone, and triiodothyronine, which are typical adaptations to
life-extending CR in rodents.

DOI: 10.1007/s11357-009-9118-z 
PMCID: PMC2829643
PMID: 19904628  [Indexed for MEDLINE]
 

 

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Low Protein Diet Boosts FGF21 and WAT Browning

Following a low protein diet is already on the latest list of BAT boosters. This new study [1] provides further confirmation, at least in rats.

They fed rats either a low, moderate or high protein diet for 10 days at normal room temperature, and then exposed them to 39F/4C for 72 hours, measuring concentrations of factors associated with BAT and WAT browning.

They found that a low protein diet greatly increased browning and UCP1 expression in WAT at both room temperature and even more after 72h of cold exposure. Here is the graph of UCP1 level in WAT at the two different temperatures across the three protein levels (6%, 20% and 50% protein).

Screenshot_20190711-181839_Chrome.jpg

Interestingly, in BAT (as opposed to WAT above), there wasn't a significant difference between UCP1 levels across the three protein levels at either housing temperature:

Screenshot_20190711-182724_Chrome.jpg

The level of FGF21 (which promotes WAT browning) in serum, liver and BAT was also increased on the low-protein diet.

Screenshot_20190711-182602_Chrome.jpg

So unlike those who want to build muscle, it looks like keeping protein on the low side (e.g. with a healthy plant-based diet) is the way to go if one wants to increase WAT browning and thermogenesis.

--Dean

----------

[1] Genes Nutr. 2019 Jun 4;14:19. doi: 10.1186/s12263-019-0642-x. 

Interaction between the amount of dietary protein and the environmental
temperature on the expression of browning markers in adipose tissue of rats.

Alemán G(1), Castro AL(1), Vigil-Martínez A(1), Torre-Villalvazo I(1),
Díaz-Villaseñor A(1)(2), Noriega LG(1), Medina-Vera I(3), Ordáz G(1), Torres
N(1), Tovar AR(1).

Background: A low-protein diet increases the expression and circulating
concentration of FGF21. FGF21 stimulates the browning process of WAT by enhancing
the expression of UCP1 coupled with an increase in PGC1α. Interestingly, the
consumption of a low-protein diet could stimulate WAT differentiation into
beige/brite cells by increasing FGF21 expression and Ucp1 mRNA abundance.
However, whether the stimulus of a low-protein diet on WAT browning can
synergistically interact with another browning stimulus, such as cold exposure,
remains elusive.
Results: In the present study, rats were fed 6% (low), 20% (adequate), or 50%
(high) dietary protein for 10 days and subsequently exposed to 4 °C for 72 h.
Body weight, food intake, and energy expenditure were measured, as well as WAT
browning and BAT thermogenesis markers and FGF21 circulating levels. The results 
showed that during cold exposure, the consumption of a high-protein diet reduced 
UCP1, TBX1, Cidea, Cd137, and Prdm16 in WAT when compared with the consumption of
a low-protein diet. In contrast, at room temperature, a low-protein diet
increased the expression of UCP1, Cidea, and Prdm16 associated with an increase
in FGF21 expression and circulating levels when compared with a consumption of a 
high-protein diet. Consequently, the consumption of a low-protein diet increased 
energy expenditure.
Conclusions: These results indicate that in addition to the environmental
temperature, WAT browning is nutritionally modulated by dietary protein,
affecting whole-body energy expenditure.
Graphical abstract:

DOI: 10.1186/s12263-019-0642-x 
PMCID: PMC6549346
PMID: 31178938 

Conflict of interest statement: Competing interestsThe authors declare that they 
have no competing interests.
 

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Interesting study and it jives with others associating low (plant) protein diets with longevity.

But 6% is really low. The old traditional Okinawan diet is pegged at about 9% protein.

I was hovering about 13% average, hitting 14% on occasion, depending on the mix of legumes and nuts. But now that I've started eating more mushrooms, I am up to 15%.

What are you cold guys averaging for protein?

And poor rats, 4°C is cold, especially for a rat.

Edited by Ron Put

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4 hours ago, Ron Put said:

What are you cold guys averaging for protein?

10%

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Ron has been critical of the hypothesis that cold exposure has the potential to extend healthspan and/or lifespan based on the apparent lack of population-level evidence - i.e. unlike data from other species (where there is a correlation), for humans there doesn't seem to be a correlation between living in a cold climate and longevity. I've argued that such population-level human data is unlikely to be readily apparent for several reasons. One of the most important of these is that unlike other species, humans have found effective means of avoiding exposure to temperature extremes via clothing, blankets at night, heating and air-conditioning. So even in the face of wide outdoor temperature swings, the average person isn't exposed to much of a difference in the temperature they actually experience.

Evidence in my favor comes from this new study [1], which looked at the experienced temperature of 77K people living in the UK across seasons. Each subject wore a device on their wrist that measured several things, including temperature, which the researchers correlated with outdoor temperature as determined by the weather service based on their location.

The researchers found that for ever 1 degree changed in outdoor temperature, there was on average a 0.08 degree change in the temperature the person actually experienced. Here is a plot of the data:Screenshot_20190712-112438_Foxit PDF.jpg

The difference between the temperature subjects experienced at the coldest time of the year compared to the warmest was -1.8degC (-4degF). This is a pretty small change in experienced temperature, particular when you factor in the fact (which the authors acknowledge) that the temperature sensor was worn on subject's wrist, which would be more exposed to temperature variations than most of the rest of their body, which are covered by clothes which vary by season. So for example, while the subjects' wrists may have been on average 1.8degC colder in winter than summer, the subjects would likely be wearing heavier clothing at those times, so the actual temperature variation their body experienced would be substantially less.

While this study was conducted in a single population in the UK, it seems to me quite likely the same would hold across populations from different climates. In other words, the difference in temperature people actually experience at different latitudes is a tiny fraction of the difference in outdoor temperature due to the effectiveness of human micro-climate control technologies, i.e. heating, AC, and clothing. This is likely to mask any health or longevity benefits of cold exposure at the population level.

--Dean

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[1] J Public Health (Oxf). 2019 Apr 25. pii: fdz025. doi: 10.1093/pubmed/fdz025.

[Epub ahead of print]

Observational evidence of the seasonal and demographic variation in experienced
temperature from 77 743 UK Biobank participants.

Kennard HR(1), Huebner GM(1), Shipworth D(1).

Author information: 
(1)UCL Energy Institute, London, UK.

BACKGROUND: Exposure to cold is known to be associated with severe health
impacts. The primary epidemiological evidence for this is the seasonal variation 
in mortality. However, there is a paucity of directly measured data for personal 
cold temperature exposure. This paper develops the concept of experienced
temperature, and reports how it varies with season, demographics and housing
factors.
METHODS: This study uses data from 77 743 UK Biobank participants. A novel method
to directly measure participant's exposure to low temperatures using a thermistor
in a wrist-worn activity monitor is described. These readings are combined with
demographic and housing factor variables in a multiple regression model to
understand underlying relationships.
RESULTS: The study reveals a significant difference in experienced temperature of
~1.8°C between the periods of coldest and hottest external temperature. A number 
of demographic differences were also observed-such as people of Chinese ethnic
background experiencing 0.65°C lower temperatures than other groups.
CONCLUSIONS: This paper presents primary evidence for a seasonal variation in
experienced temperature. This variation likely contributes to cold related
mortality and morbidity. It is hypothesized that this relationship would be less 
strong in countries which suffer fewer impacts of cold winter temperatures.

© The Author(s) 2019. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Faculty
of Public Health. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail:
journals.permissions@oup.com.

DOI: 10.1093/pubmed/fdz025 
PMID: 31271196 
 

 

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Dean what would you say about the natives who lived in cold climates preindustrial? They lived in igloos. Surely they were exposed to pretty stressful levels of cold. AFAIK they were not in any way outliers for health or longevity.

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Mike,

I've already been over this with Ron, and Tom before that. See hereherehere and here.

In short, preindustrially the Inuit etc had a bad diet, poor medical care, high stress and lived in a very dangerous environment. It would be very surprising if CE or CR could overcome these longevity disadvantages.

My main argument is that once you're doing everything right, including moderate CR, CE is likely to help you age successfully, via improved metabolic health (e.g. glucose tolerance), avoiding bone loss, improving immune response and potentially maintaining brain health.

Most people eat crap, and eat more crap if they burn more via thermogenesis, so CE alone is unlikely to have much longevity advantage, except perhaps by helping avoid metabolic syndrome and diabetes.

--Dean

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13 minutes ago, mikeccolella said:

Dean what would you say about the natives who lived in cold climates preindustrial? They lived in igloos. Surely they were exposed to pretty stressful levels of cold. AFAIK they were not in any way outliers for health or longevity.

I am with you on this one. Also, we need to consider that until fairly recently, central heating was not the norm, even in industrialized countries. Especially in rural areas, bedrooms were often without heat and farm houses in Sweden would have had room temperatures considered uncomfortably cold by today's standards.

I come from a pretty cold region and I remember people spending hours per day out in the cold. Even warm clothing would have provided temperatures closer to an ice vest than being naked in the tropics. If cold exposure had such significant impact on longevity, construction workers in Siberia would be the longest living folks in Russia. Yet the Siberians have a life expectancy about a full decade shorter than the already short life expectancy of the average Russian.

Here is another one of quite a few studies which show that cold temperatures contribute to excess deaths:  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4890842/

I certainly cannot argue with Dean's stellar biomarker numbers, but I would argue that they are the result of primarily long-term CR and low protein diet, exercise and extremely healthy eating and lifestyle habits. And genes, of course :)

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