Follow us twitter facebook
Edition: Brazil
Click here to subscribe toour free weekly newsletter click here
Science, R&D

Study says staying cool creates ’good’ brown fat

In a preliminary study to learn about mysterious but promising brown fat cells, researchers demonstrated that exposure to cool environmental temperature actually creates them, possibly helping to boost metabolism.

© StockLite/shutterstock.com

© StockLite/shutterstock.com

The study was led by endocrinologist Dr. Paul Lee from Sydney’s Garvan Institute of Medical Research, whose past research has indicated brown fat, prevalent in lean people, is the key player in metabolism because it generates heat.

"Excitement in the brown fat field has risen significantly over last few years because its energy-burning nature makes it a potential therapeutic target against obesity and diabetes," said Dr. Lee about his prior study, published in Cell Metabolism, indicating that shivering and exercise may convert white fat to brown.

Chronic cold exposure

The new study, The Impact of Chronic Cold Exposure in Humans (ICEMAN) study at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Washington DC, worked with five healthy men over a four-month period.

For the duration of the study, they lived in climate-controlled rooms of various temperatures at the NIH Clinical Center in Washington DC, although they maintained normal routines during the day. At the end of each month, researchers conducted "thermal metabolic evaluations" of participants. In addition to biopsies of muscle and fat, they performed cold-stimulated CT scans to measure the amount of brown fat in the body, which proliferated during the cool month during which participants lived for a minimum of 10 hours in an environment of 19 degrees C (66F).

During the first month, researchers set their subjects’ rooms to 24 degrees C (75F), the next month to 19C, back to 24C for the third month and to 27 degrees C (80F) the fourth and final month. The body does not need to work to produce heat in 24C, considered a "thermo-neutral" temperature in scientific terms, so analysis conducted at the end of the first and last months in which participants lived at this temperature represented the baseline.

"The big unknown until this study was whether or not we could actually manipulate brown fat to grow and shrink in a human being," said Dr Lee. "What we found was that the cold month increased brown fat by around 30-40%."

Dr. Lee’s findings indicate that not turning up the thermostat during winter months could play a role in fighting obesity. "During the second thermo-neutral month at 24 degrees, the brown fat dropped back, returning to baseline," says Lee.

His research supports another recent study exploring the effects of ambient temperature on health and weight management. The Dutch study, published in the journal Science & Society, indicates that frequent, prolonged exposure to mild cold mobilizes brown fat, provoking calorie burning up to five times the average resting metabolic rate.

Dr. Lee’s study indicates that cold actually creates the cells instead of merely activating their heatgenerating capabilities. The study was presented June 22 at the joint meeting of the International Society of Endocrinology and the Endocrine Society in Chicago and published in the journal Diabetes.

AFP/Relaxnews

© 2014 - Brazil Beauty News - www.brazilbeautynews.com

latest news
Focus
FCE Cosmetique 2017 marked by record public attendance

FCE Cosmetique 2017 marked by record public attendance

FCE Cosmetique and FCE Pharma, which took place on 23-25 May 2017 at São Paulo Expo recorded an unprecedented level of attendance, receiving 15,400 visitors, a growth of 9% compared to previous year. At the opening ceremony, Geraldo Alckmin, Governor of the São Paulo State, highlighted the efforts of the Government for the (...)

read more
Experts’ views
US retail: Apocalypse or evolution?

Laurence Bacilieri
US retail: Apocalypse or evolution?

American retail is in freefall, and its sales revenues have been deeply affected by 3,500 stores going out of business, not to mention the difficulties Macy’s, Sears and K-Mart are facing. Unlike the banking sector, the main actors of retail are rapidly restructuring their networks of sales points because of the rising price of (...)

read more

Features