Jump to content
Dean Pomerleau

Cold Exposure & Other Mild Stressors for Increased Health & Longevity

Recommended Posts

Thanks.

Quote

...novel targets for future medicines he calls “temperature mimetics,” which could offer the health-promoting effects without having to reduce body temperature.  

CE mimetics,  CR mimetics,  fasting mimetics,  exercise mimetics etc.-- everyone's looking for  (patentable) mimetics.  But the real things are right there,  free for the taking.  Ain't nothin' like the real thing,  baby!

 

 

 

Edited by Sibiriak

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/9/2020 at 2:16 AM, Sibiriak said:

Thanks.

CE mimetics,  CR mimetics,  fasting mimetics,  exercise mimetics etc.-- everyone's looking for  (patentable) mimetics.  But the real things are right there,  free for the taking.  Ain't nothin' like the real thing,  baby!

So much easier to pop a pill than wearing an ice vest all day (typing this as I'm wearing an ice vest, haha)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just published study again shows that cold exposure is critically important for the benefits of CR

  1. View ORCID ProfileCarlos Guijas1,*,
  2. View ORCID ProfileJ. Rafael Montenegro-Burke1,*
  3. View ORCID ProfileRigo Cintron-Colon2,*
  4. View ORCID ProfileXavier Domingo-Almenara1
  5. View ORCID ProfileManuel Sanchez-Alavez2
  6. View ORCID ProfileCarlos A. Aguirre2
  7. View ORCID ProfileKokila Shankar2
  8. View ORCID ProfileErica L.-W. Majumder1
  9. View ORCID ProfileElizabeth Billings1
  10. View ORCID ProfileBruno Conti2,3,, and 
  11. View ORCID ProfileGary Siuzdak1,4,

 See all authors and affiliations

Science Signaling  08 Sep 2020:
Vol. 13, Issue 648, eabb2490
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.abb2490
 
813bf3f8-b80b-4412-adc7-e2ef866f7ff8-egg

METABOLISM BOOST?

CALORIE RESTRICTION CAN EXTEND LIFE— STUDY EXPLAINS ONE FACTOR INVOLVED

Eating less may have an oddly positive effect on metabolism.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

LOL, cold again.  It constricts your arteries, which is one major reason more people die during the cold months.

Lab rats are one thing, the Spaniards and the Norwegians are quite another. You'd think the climate would have a dramatic effect if this theory was true, at least like diet, right?  But if anything, the colder it is, the faster they die, even with more money to spend on health care....

Edited by Ron Put

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Right Ron, avoid cold exposure if you have heart disease. Then again, it’s good for people with elevated blood glucose, so it likely helps prevent heart disease in the first place.  In the era of indoor heating and air conditioning, climate has little affect on humans’ living temperatures.

Edited by Gordo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/19/2020 at 4:50 AM, Ron Put said:

You'd think the climate would have a dramatic effect if this theory was true...

No you wouldn't.   Following a systematic, well-designed program of cold exposure (CE) is NOT the same as living in a cold climate.  ( I live in Siberia-- I can assure you almost no one there practices CE,  nor is the average lifestyle particularly healthy.  Health/longevity statistics about  Siberians wouldn't tell you jack  about  CE practice by health-oriented individuals.)

Likewise,  following a systematic program of sport, resistance training,  aerobic exercise etc is not the same as doing manual labor work for years.

Equally important:  no claim is being made that  practicing CE  by itself would necessarily provide huge health benefits.   The suggestion is  that CE works synergistically with calorie moderation,  protein moderation,  optimized  personalized  nutrition,  systematic exercise etc.

 

Edited by Sibiriak

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/21/2020 at 11:27 PM, Sibiriak said:

Equally important:  no claim is being made that  practicing CE  by itself would necessarily provide huge health benefits.   The suggestion is  that CE works synergistically with calorie moderation,  protein moderation,  optimized  personalized  nutrition,  systematic exercise etc.

Fair points. But still:

Cardiovascular responses to cold exposure

"Cold temperatures have adverse effects on the human cardiovascular system. Animals develop hypertension and cardiac hypertrophy during exposure to cold. Cold exposure activates the SNS which, in turn, increases the activity of the RAS (Fig. 3). The RAS suppresses eNOS expression and decreases NO production which contributes the development of CIH. The RAS also mediates the cold-induced increase in ET-1 production. Cold exposure up-regulates ETA but down-regulates ETB receptors. This unique pattern of changes in the ET system may be involved in the development of CIH. The relationship of the SNS, the RAS, the ET system and the NO system in the development of CIH is summarized in Figure 3. The mechanism of CICH may be different from that of CIH. The development of CICH is disassociated with CIH and is independent of the SNS and the RAS. The protooncogene c-myc is up-regulated in the hearts of cold-exposed rats, which may mediate CICH. The potential role of thyroid hormones in the cold-induced up-regulation of c-mycneeds to be evaluated. CIH and CICH are prototypic models of environmentally-induced hypertension and hypertrophy, which are induced without surgical intervention, genetic manipulation or large doses of drugs or hormones."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Ron Put said:

Fair points. But still:  Cardiovascular responses to cold exposure

Ron,  that study has already been posted and discussed in this thread here.   I'm not sure the point of your bringing it up again without adding anything new.

Please review the related comments made then by Gordo,  Dean,  TomB et al.,  if you don't remember them.

I'll quote just two:

On 7/24/2019 at 3:35 AM, Dean Pomerleau said:

Thanks Ron and Gordo. Those are interesting studies, and are definitely a reason for caution against extreme forms of cold exposure.

All of the animals studies cited in those papers involved long-term exposure to very low temperature, i.e. 40F/5C continuously for 1-5 weeks at a time. 40degF is a full 40degF colder the thermoneutral temperature of the mice involved in the study.

This is opposed to the 10degF below thermoneutrality (~70F) that appears beneficial for rodent health and longevity in combination with CR.

The human study you cite Ron exposed healthy young men to even colder (38F/4C) with a 14 mph wind blowing on them. All the subjects started shivering within 5min and continued shivering throughout the experiment.

This is much more extreme CE than I would recommend and it isn't surprising their cardiovascular system responded with vasoconstriction, elevated BP and arterial stiffening.

Like with both CR and exercise, it is possible to go too far with CE. Shivering is a sign of going too far.

My recommendation remains to engage in incidental cold exposure (e.g. cold showers and not over dressing on mildly cold days) and/or a couple/few hours per day of controlled exposure to the equivalent of 10deg below human thermoneutrality (i.e. ~62 deg lightly dressed, or wearing a cold vest) to maximize the potential benefits and minimize potential risks.

On 7/24/2019 at 7:38 AM, TomBAvoider said:

OMG, people! I feel like a broken record: the dose makes the poison! This has been known for hundreds of years! This is why (I'm relating this for about the 100th time), whenever I hear about a drug or an intervention, my first question is - "dose and protocol?" It is completely worthless without that. You can overdose on water and die, it doesn't mean water is bad for you. 

It's great to cite studies for and against CE, but unless we fully understand dosing/protocol, interpreting the study is impossible. And again, that goes both ways - for the proponents of CE as much as for the sceptics of CE. That's one of the reasons why I am so deeply suspicious of animal studies when it comes to applying to humans - even if a given, very particular and specific physiological reaction is exactly the same between a mouse/rat/animal and a human (pretty rare), you still cannot be confident about how to convert a dose/protocol from animal values to equivalent human values [...]

 

The point about dosing/protocols is crucial,  imo.   My personal regime is even more intermittent than the one Dean described.  It involves a mix of  cold showers, cold baths,  cold-water swimming,  and slightly under-dressing on cold days for fairly short periods.  It incorporates standard principles of  progressive training adaptation, with some strategies taken from periodized resistance training theory.  I don't do  any kind of  protracted exposure to very cold temperatures.

And btw, I've always found the effects to be quite  pleasurable,  invigorating and health-promoting. 

I can understand though  that if you are cold-phobic,  have unusually strong concerns about heart disease, or  feel you might to be too frail to endure repeated CE hormetic challenges,  the addition of a systematic CE protocol to a calorie moderation+WFPBD+ exercise regime  would not be something you'd want to consider.

 

Edited by Sibiriak

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are many angles to the CE issue and how methods are applied. This is something to approach with caution and graduality. I think I wrote about the surge in pressure I feel when going suddenly under a very cold shower, so I start from legs, arms and only after one minute I fully soak the head and the whole body. The jet can be adjusted to be less concentrated and distribute the water more evenly over the body, that contributes to avoid a pressure surge. The timing can vary from one minute to ten minutes, even though the latter is an upper bound to me in very cold water. After a real cold shower I dress up and stay near a heat source to heat up. Exercise is also good. Walking outside in a T shirt is good and actually pleasant, prolonged shivering and frozen hands may warn that you are overdoing it. A definite advantage is the awakened and alert state from norepinephrine release.

I believe that intermittent shivering has also benefits, as far as it's not overdone.

Beyond the health benefits, some people enjoy the mental power, the freedom from climate adversities. Some people even enjoy showing off walking with a T shirt in freezing temperatures. Sometimes I overdo that and, especially when it's windy, and I find myself in a very uncomfortable state, a freezing hell, but it is all good, it makes you appreciate the basic commodities of life, simple heating when you are back home.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/24/2020 at 12:14 AM, Sibiriak said:

I can understand though  that if you are cold-phobic,  have unusually strong concerns about heart disease, or  feel you might to be too frail to endure repeated CE hormetic challenges

LOLZ.  Frankly, I had forgotten that this particular study was posted, but a reminder that cold exposure triggers hypertension, and hypertrophy is nevertheless warranted.

My take is that cold exposure is on balance detrimental, and more so if one already has CVD.  Dosage is important, of course, but just like with EVOO, I don't see compelling evidence to convince me that any of it is beneficial. Don't mean to throw more oil on the fire.

You are kind of right, I'd rather not have heart disease. I know that cold showers can be "invigorating," but then so are shots of vodka. Personally, I have lived in some very, very cold places and I would not voluntarily choose to live in such places nowadays.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/25/2020 at 3:46 PM, Ron Put said:

My take is that cold exposure is on balance detrimental,

Your take is probably wrong. Don’t want to go in circles rehashing what has already been hashed. A summary of evidence is here.

You might also enjoy: Latitudinal variation in lifespan within species is explained by the metabolic theory of ecology

“Latitude and lifespan were positively correlated in 85% of the species, although the relationship was statistically significant in only 39% of the cases. It is worth noting that under a null model without a latitudinal gradient in lifespan, the chances of obtaining 85% positive slopes are exceedingly small (χ2 = 27.597, P < 0.0001). Moreover, for all species with significant regressions, lifespan increased with latitude. As discussed below, it appears that much of this latitudinal variation may be explained by temperature using the MTE.“

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/22/2020 at 2:27 AM, Sibiriak said:

No you wouldn't.   Following a systematic, well-designed program of cold exposure (CE) is NOT the same as living in a cold climate.  ( I live in Siberia-- I can assure you almost no one there practices CE,  nor is the average lifestyle particularly healthy.  Health/longevity statistics about  Siberians wouldn't tell you jack  about  CE practice by health-oriented individuals.)

Likewise,  following a systematic program of sport, resistance training,  aerobic exercise etc is not the same as doing manual labor work for years.

Equally important:  no claim is being made that  practicing CE  by itself would necessarily provide huge health benefits.   The suggestion is  that CE works synergistically with calorie moderation,  protein moderation,  optimized  personalized  nutrition,  systematic exercise etc.

 

Ok Gordo could you please simplify for the novices etc. a simple, practical plan for doing this. Like for instance a 1/2 hour daily walk in the cold. Or is this something crazy where we have to walk around all day wearing a freezer robe. Help us lazy, dummies out who Are not very motivated like yours truly and I bet the others who might happen upon this thread!. I’m talkin a couple sentences if that’s doable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/28/2020 at 6:57 PM, Mike41 said:

Ok Gordo could you please simplify for the novices etc. a simple, practical plan for doing this. Like for instance a 1/2 hour daily walk in the cold. Or is this something crazy where we have to walk around all day wearing a freezer robe. Help us lazy, dummies out who Are not very motivated like yours truly and I bet the others who might happen upon this thread!. I’m talkin a couple sentences if that’s doable.

Hi Mike, I'll answer iin Gordo's stead and anyone's further suggestions are welcome.

Best ways to start:

  • full-body cold ablutions (tap water) at waking up and any other time. By ablutions I mean to asperse oneself with water on the whole body, barring the head. Then drying up with a towel. Then warming up if cold.
  • Wear progressively lighter garment when going out.

Ways to go advanced, after the previous steps.

  • Cold shower in the morning, empty stomach, of progressively longer duration (from 10 seconds in crease very slowly to 5-10 minutes ), then dry up, don warm clothes, warm up by exercise or heat source. Watch out for blood pressure surges.
  • Exposure to cold air (walking or doing whatever one wants to do) with T-shirt  and shorts initially (or T shirts/light long-sleeved shirts and long trousers in the public), then bare chested, starting from 1 minute to progressively longer times. If hands tend to freeze, don gloves. There is practically no limit to this procedure but hypothermia must be avoided as well as excessive prolonged discomfort. Shivering is all right.

After a while you will probably enjoy the moment when the bodily mechanisms of thermal regulation and heat production kick in. 

A mandatory disclaimer: the above are mere indications of the practices I've followed with beneficial results but they may not be applicable to anyone. Personal issues may arise form cold exposure, so please consult your medic especially if you have any conditions. Please do not exceed with CE and retire to a warm environment if any slight sign of hypothermia should occur. Please do not get your extremities frozen. Brief, intermittent exposures are usually safe except in very extreme temperatures.

Edited by mccoy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you McCoy! Simplicity is a good thing. Sometimes we make things too obscure methinks. Anyways my morning walks probably qualify so hopefully they will do some good, but honestly I, like Ron, am skeptical.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fang Y, McFadden S, Darcy J, Hascup ER, Hascup KN, Bartke A. Lifespan of long-lived growth hormone receptor knockout mice was not normalized by housing at 30°C since weaning. Aging Cell. 2020 May;19(5):e13123. doi: 10.1111/acel.13123. Epub 2020 Feb 28. PMID: 32110850; PMCID: PMC7253058.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7253058/

Abstract follows:

Abstract

Growth hormone receptor knockout (GHRKO) mice are remarkably long-lived and have improved glucose homeostasis along with altered energy metabolism which manifests through decreased respiratory quotient (RQ) and increased oxygen consumption (VO2 ). Short-term exposure of these animals to increased environmental temperature (eT) at 30°C can normalize their VO2 and RQ. We hypothesized that increased heat loss in the diminutive GHRKO mice housed at 23°C and the consequent metabolic adjustments to meet the increased energy demand for thermogenesis may promote extension of longevity, and preventing these adjustments by chronic exposure to increased eT will reduce or eliminate their longevity advantage. To test these hypotheses, GHRKO mice were housed at increased eT (30°C) since weaning. Here, we report that contrasting with the effects of short-term exposure of adult GHRKO mice to 30°C, transferring juvenile GHRKO mice to chronic housing at 30°C did not normalize the examined parameters of energy metabolism and glucose homeostasis. Moreover, despite decreased expression levels of thermogenic genes in brown adipose tissue (BAT) and elevated core body temperature, the lifespan of male GHRKO mice was not reduced, while the lifespan of female GHRKO mice was increased, along with improved glucose homeostasis. The results indicate that GHRKO mice have intrinsic features that help maintain their delayed, healthy aging, and extended longevity at both 23°C and 30°C.

Keywords: GHRKO; growth hormone receptor; lifespan; metabolism; temperature; thermogenesis.

 

Edited by Mechanism

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Vitamin A boosts fat burning in cold conditions

cold ambient temperatures increase vitamin A levels in humans and mice. This helps convert "bad" white adipose tissue into "good" brown adipose tissue, which stimulates fat burning and heat generation.

More than 90% of the body fat depots in humans are white, which are typically located at the abdomen, bottom and upper thighs.

vitamin A reserves are stored in the liver and cold exposure seems to stimulate the redistribution of vitamin A toward the adipose tissue. The cold-induced increase in vitamin A led to a conversion of white fat into brown fat ("browning"), with a higher rate of fat burning.

When Kiefer and his team blocked the vitamin A transporter retinol-binding protein in mice by genetic manipulation, both the cold-mediated rise in vitamin A and the browning of the white fat were blunted: "As a consequence, fat oxidation and heat production were perturbed so that the mice were no longer able to protect themselves against the cold," explains Kiefer. In contrast, the addition of vitamin A to human white fat cells led to the expression of brown fat cell characteristics, with increased metabolic activity and energy consumption.

this is not an argument for consuming large amounts of vitamin A supplements if not prescribed, because it is critical that vitamin A is transported to the right cells at the right time

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dean, are you interested in being interviewed by Peter Attia and debating the cold exposure literature ( meant with encouraging humor; in all seriousness I think that would make a very interesting show) ?

For those who are paying/supporting members ( sorry, only first few minutes accessible if not), from here https://peterattiamd.com/ama16/

Listen from 19:57--> 34:05 .

Better yet, listen to the whole thing.  Great analysis of Sauna therapy data, which he was more enthusiastic about:

In essence for Cold Exposure (CE), most data on Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS),  minimal data in persons for depression and immunity (there actually are some positive studies for immunity, but they did not cite them), and noted for Life Extension (LE) with CE, some data on drosophila and fish, but they reported there was none they saw for mice.

They may not have been aware of Dean's oft-cited ""rats with cold feet" study":

J. O. Holloszy and E. K. Smith
Journal of Applied Physiology 1986 61:5, 1656-1660
 
This above study has its limitations, and true enough despite the wide variety of promising results described in this thread - including metabolic studies and suggestive inter-species and geographic life extension work - murine life extension studies with good controls remain limited.  The evidence for metabolic benefits and some synergies with longevity pathways is relatively stronger than the hypothesis that "CE is a requirement for CR to produce life extension," per se.  If CR works at all in humans (in which case I anticipate a modest effect in lifespan but a more robust effect in healthspan), my feeling about it right now is that limiting BCAA/Cys/Met to RDA levels or below is more likely to be a conditional variable for the CR to be effective.  Not so much CE by comparison.
 
Some of CR is mediated by pathways overlapping with GH/IIS/mTOR and related pathways, and from the study I cited in my previous post [https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7253058/] it appears at least some of these pathways (though they did not study CR per se) may work fine regardless of temperature (and perhaps a little better in females at the higher temperature).
  
Finally, Dr. Attia made a point re: causality: whereas CE triggers thermogenesis, the amount of BAT and beige fat appears to be far more under the influence of metabolic health such as remaining slim - without necessarily any special attention to getting in more cold exposure.  Not here to debate but rather to be helpful as this is a topic of interest.  Agree or disagree, just reporting his comments.  Hope all is well in CR-land....
  
Edited by Mechanism

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×