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Weight loss and diabetes prevention: brown fat cooling research

Cold for Weight Loss and Diabetes Prevention Washington Post Interviews Leading Brown Fat Researchers The energy burning furnace that keeps our body warm when exposed to cold, brown fat or brown adipose tissue, has been increasingly studied for its role in metabolism for weight loss and diabetes prevention. Mouse studies show active brown fat has…

Weight loss and diabetes prevention: brown fat cooling research was originally published on Brown Fat for Health

Weight loss and diabetes prevention: brown fat cooling research

Cold for Weight Loss and Diabetes Prevention

Washington Post Interviews Leading Brown Fat Researchers

cool fat burner weight loss

Cold temperatures and weight los

The energy burning furnace that keeps our body warm when exposed to cold, brown fat or brown adipose tissue, has been increasingly studied for its role in metabolism for weight loss and diabetes prevention. Mouse studies show active brown fat has a role in preventing obesity.  That knowledge has increased investigation of brown fat’s role in weight loss and diabetes prevention in people.After the discovery by science around 2009 that brown fat is present in adults, researchers were curious to learn why brown adipose tissue was active in some people but not in others. The adults with brown fat were generally leaner and had healthier blood sugar levels. 

Not only did adults have brown fat that could be stimulated by exposure to mild cold conditions, other studies revealed another “healthy fat” – beige fat. It was discovered that cold exposure could actually change our bad belly fat, white adipose tissue, into a beige adipose tissue. Beige fat also burns off excess energy and seems to have a role in weight loss and diabetes prevention.1)

Paul Lee, a research scientist at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Sydney, leads a Brown Fat Physiology Group. His 2014 “ICEMAN study” proved that there is a link between ambient temperatures and the gain or loss of brown fat in adults. it only required a mild cold of 19 degrees celsius in a room overnight for a few months to grown brown fat, burn more calories which can lead to weight loss, and stimulated insulin sensitivity requiring less insulin after eating to bring blood sugar levels down. An easy inference to draw is that the indoor controlled environments people have been living in has had a role in the increase seen in obesity and diabetes. 

In the Washington Post interview, Dr. Lee said that there is no current evidence that shivering is a method to achieve weight loss and diabetes prevention. Brown fat research has been focused on the mild cold exposure that triggers brown adipose tissue’s use of glucose to produce internal body heat. Shivering is a different metabolic response.

Dr. Aaron Cypess, National Institute of Health researcher, has conducted studies that show clear evidence that stimulating the growth and activity of brown fat can have a beneficial role in preventing weight gain, obesity and diabetes. He does not recommend shivering as a way of losing weight however. Shivering is a response to colder temperatures, below 19 degrees celsius, that is both extremely uncomfortable and a stress on the body that could cause damage. Because of those problems, the body is designed to turn on the brown fat furnace and turn white fat to beige fat in mild cold environments. 

The bottom line remains the same. No cool fat burner promising weight loss from shivering or mild cold brown fat cooling vest alone is going to be a magic solution for weight loss and diabetes prevention. Controlling food intake and exercising will remain the fundamental factors for better health. However, the modern human controlled temperature environment may be a key factor in the massive growth of obesity and diabetes, so new ways to restore a healthy mild cold exposure should be very beneficial.

1) There are several types of body fat according to a recent Women’s Health Magazine article about body fat types and weight loss.

“Toxic Fat” “Good Fat” and Diabetes: Ceramides role in Metabolic Disease

How good fat and toxic fat play a role in diabetes

Why do thin fit people as well as obese people become diabetic?

good fat, brown fat cooling vest

Thin fit people and diabetes

Much research has been discovering how good fat, brown adipose tissue, might play a key role in treating diabetes. Activating brown fat with a cooling vest, drugs or stem cells are all being studied. While the role of this “good fat” is becoming known, the basic causes of diabetes are still elusive. Even very fit and lean individuals can have diabetes so exercise and diet are not the only factor.

A common link link between type I and type 2 diabetes is being pursued in research about the role increased levels of a “toxic fat”,  ceramides, plays in metabolic disease. A researcher who’s family had a history of diabetes, Scott summers, has been on a quest to discover the common root of diabetes ever since witnessing his adult father, an avid daily runner, begin needing to take daily insulin injections after being diagnosed with the disease in his 40’s.1)

Research into the question of why both lean and obese individuals can become diabetic has led to a prime suspect: Ceramides, a waxy lipid that has been called “toxic fat.” A study published in the journal Cell Metabolism looked at how toxic fat interferes with normal function of brown fat. This could be a root cause involved in a number of metabolic diseases that involve adipose tissue: white fat, brown fat and beige fat. The toxic fat appears to be causing interference in the body’s internal communication system that can sense the energy or nutritional status of the body. Normally excess glucose can be used up by active beige fat or brown fat cells, but the toxic fat, ceramides, interferes with the process. 

Brown adipose tissue is jam packed with mitochondria cells that are iron rich (“brown fat”). These cells burn off energy that otherwise is stored in bad, white fat, tissue. While much focus has been on cooling the body with a cooling vest for weight loss or finding a drug to activate brown fat, understanding and stopping toxic fat looks like a promising path to curing diabetes. 

 

1) Hamblin, James: The Scientist Harnessing ‘Toxic Fat,’ The Atlantic, March 15, 201

Diabetes Epidemic Grows as Global Temperatures Rise

Global Warming Linked to Diabetes Epidemic: Reduction in Brown Fat Activity Blamed in Study

Significant increases in glucose intolerance leading to a diabetes epidemic is correlated to global warming according to a new research paper. Global warming causing decreased brown adipose tissue activity is leading to increasing cases of diabetes: a metabolic disease that results from the body becoming glucose intolerant.1)

Analyzing years of worldwide data showing climate change and the number of diabetes cases, scientists have seen a strong link between the number of cases of diabetes diagnosed each time average temperatures increased by 1 degree. Based on prior studies of brown fat activation showing exposure to mild cold is a potential therapy for diabetes, researchers concluded that: “[O]ur data are consistent with the hypothesis that a decrease in BAT activity with increas- ing environmental temperature may deteriorate glucose metabolism and increase the incidence of diabetes.”

Obesity, a factor in the cause of type 2 diabetes,  also rose in relation to increases in temperature with a 0.173% increase in obesity cases with each single degree of temperature increase. Diabetes, related to the body’s increased resistance to insulin, grew by 3.1% per 10,000 people each time the climate warmed by 1 degree celsius. Data was drawn from sources covering the years 1996 through 2013. 

diabetes epidemic, cooling vest weight loss

Mean annual temperature and diabetes cases per degree of temperature increase by state.

Just published this week, the detailed study is getting major media attention as the world struggles with the major health challenge of the diabetes epidemic and rise in obesity with all kinds of bad implications for metabolic health. Newsweek has provided the best easy to read summary of the research paper.

Solutions are coming to market. Hyperwear has patented a cooling vest that can be worn to activate brown fat using mild cold that is comfortable and part of a solution for better health and weight loss.

1) Blauw LL, Aziz NA, Tannemaat MR, et al. Diabetes incidence and glucose intolerance prevalence increase with higher outdoor temperature. BMJ Open Diabetes Research and Care 2017;5:e000317. doi:10.1136/bmjdrc-2016- 000317

Weight Loss Vest: Top 5 Facts

Top 5 Facts About Weight Loss Vest Research

What studies say about cooling vests and brown fat weight loss

COMMENTARY

A brown fat weight loss vest must use mild cold

A weight loss vest cooling vest using ice packs or any cooling packs cold enough to trigger shivering are not going to properly activate brown fat to increase your metabolism and burn more calories. Brown adipose tissue uses a process called “non-shivering thermogenesis.” Non-shivering thermogenesis is the body’s natural response to mild cold. Very cold temperatures cause shivering which is a short-term and entirely different reaction by the body where rapid muscle contractions generate heat. The point where your body’s response shifts from non-shivering to shivering thermogenesis varies by individual, but is around 58 degrees Fahrenheit. Cooling vests for brown fat weight loss should not use ice cold cooling packs of thirty degrees Fahrenheit. Ice cold cooling vests and packs also create a danger of skin damage and burns from freezing. Activation of brown fat using non-shivering thermogenesis is best with special phase change material (PCM) cooling packs that can be designed to have a melting point at or around 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

A weight loss vest should cover more body surface area

Using a cooling vest for brown adipose tissue stimulation is simply a more practical solution for what you can accomplish either by being outside in mild cold temperatures or being in a mild cold room kept at or around 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Naturally the more surface area that a cooling vest covers on the body the more closely it simulates being in a cold environment. Check the size of the cooling packs that are held by any weight loss cooling vest product. Calculate the total area the cooling packs will cover to compare how effective the cooling vest may be for brown fat activation.

thin ice vest

Cool fat burner: use a cold room?

 Brown fat cooling packs should be designed to make full body contact

How does a cooling vest work? Cooling packs against your body act like a heat sink. There is a thermal exchange between your body and the cooling pack. While the cooling pack is colder than your body it draws heat away from your body and cools your body. So the more direct body contact made by your cooling pack, the better the performance. Ideally, flexible cooling packs with a flat surface are used that conform to the body and are held in place by a well designed vest using compression to hold the packs firmly to the body.

A longer lasting weight loss vest is better

Studies of brown fat cooling have all used mild cold exposure but for varying lengths of time and temperature. Cooling vests that have been used for scientific research to date have been chilled water circulation vests that require connection by tubes to a chiller. Time periods for the water circulation vests have been no more than a couple of hours. So the longer a cooling pack stays cold in a cooling vest for brown fat, the longer your cold exposure and logically the effectiveness. A cooling vest designed to allow easy removal of warm packs and replacement with cold spares can allow extended mild cold exposure.

A weight loss vest for brown fat should be designed for comfort and exercise

Of all considerations, comfort and freedom of movement for exercise and long wear time is key to gaining the benefits of brown fat cooling. Encouraging regular use and convenience is essential. While no studies have explored the combination of exercise and cooling to date, having an athletic cooling vest design to allow exercise in the cold should provide the most effective health benefit. The key is to hold the cooling packs tight to your body and keeping them from bouncing and moving during exercise.

While these are the five key factors in purchasing a cooling product for brown fat health benefits, keep in mind others are important such as: style, fit, quality, warranty, and value for your money.  Do your own research about what makes a real product that is a true cool fat burner and study the truth about freezing your fat off.

cool fat burner weight loss vest

Lose fat with fat

Question or comment?

Benefits of Cold: Brown Fat Weight Loss

Brown Fat Weight Loss

Health Benefits of Being Cold: The ATLANTIC Jan/Feb 2015 Issue

brown fat weight loss
The Atlantic’s “FAT Nation” Cover

Many new research studies are examining the benefits of stimulating brown fat, the common name for brown adipose tissue, using the natural method of cold exposure. Ice vest or cooling vest products have started to appear on the market that are promising brown fat weight loss. The author tried out an ice vest that holds cooling packs and found that brown fat weight loss using a cooling vest “…carries some unlikely promise.”

A fascinating example of how mild cold exposure combined with exercise requires a massive calorie intake is the often cited example of Olympic gold medalist, swimmer Michael Phelps. In his training leading up to his record medal run, Phelps reported that he was eating 12,000 calories a day. This is many times the average daily need and even thousands more than other elite athletes training for other sports. A former NASA scientist who has studied the effects of cold on the body concluded that Phelps being exposed for hours-on-end in cold water during training was burning extra calories through brown fat activation. That same scientist started a routine of cold showers and long walks in the cold without a shirt losing 26.7 pounds in six weeks. It is a simple concept that cold exposure causes the bodies’ need to turn on brown adipose tissue and even convert white fat into beige fat to maintain core temperature leading to brown fat weight loss.

Could obesity be caused less by a lack of exercise and more by a combination of overeating and chronic lack of cold exposure in our controlled temperature indoor environments? Some experts have proposed that this is true and caused by what they call a “metabolic winter.” Human evolution for millions of years was subject to the forces of food scarcity and cold. Modern lifestyles with central heating and air conditioning are very new, a matter of seconds, on an evolutionary timeline. Not only are we as humans experiencing the effects of this change, but you can see the same problem with the pets we keep indoors.

Thankfully, it is mild cold that actually triggers the non-shivering thermogenesis response by the body that increases the volume and activity of brown fat and even converts the bodies’ bad white fat into calorie consuming beige fat. That will make it possible for a cooling vest that is a comfortable temperature instead of ice cold effective and widely used for brown fat weight loss.

 

Brown Fat Cold Exposure

 Brown Fat Cold Exposure : ICEMAN Study Presented

Room temperatures proven to influence brown fat growth or loss

brown fat cold exposure

Brown Fat Activated by Cold

Today an exciting new study of the effect of room temperatures on brown fat cold exposure was  presented in Chicago at a meeting of the International Society of Endocrinology.

“Our research points to a simple and practical brown fat activating and growing strategy in humans through temperature exposure modulation. We show that long-term minimal manipulation of overnight ambient temperature — well within the range found in climate-controlled buildings — was able to modulate brown fat activity in humans. Mild cold exposure stimulated brown fat activity while mild warm exposure suppressed it. Brown fat increase was accompanied by improvement in insulin sensitivity and energy burning rate after food,” said Paul Lee, MD, PhD, former research fellow at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Brown fat cold exposure with even small changes in room temperatures over the long term will have a beneficial health affect. Temperature changes directly effect the amount of brown fat and the activity of brown fat, which in turn has an important benefit on energy expenditure and metabolism in people. The study concluded that brown fat could be harnessed by simple ambient temperature adjustments making cooling an effective tool to combat obesity, diabetes and related disorders.

The flaw with this and other papers about brown fat cold exposure is that they ignore the practical limitations of people adjusting their thermostats down to sixty degrees. In northern climates during the cold months, this may be possible. But turning your air conditioning down in a home or business to the sixties is unaffordable and not very “green.” The solution may be in portable cooling. Brown fat activation with a cooling vest for weight loss and treatment of diabetes and other metabolic diseases will be a much more practical method, and has already been shown to work.