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Colder temperatures

Colder temperatures can induce a massive calorie burn

Thursday, January 30, 2014 by: J. Anderson
Tags: colder temperatures, calorie burn, brown fat tissue

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(NaturalNews) Science is starting to tell us that you can actually freeze your tail off by staying out in the cold! A recent article in Trends in Endocrinology & Metabolism demonstrated that the optimal temperature for burning calories in fit individuals is 19 degrees Celsius, or 66.2 degrees Fahrenheit. This is due to our brown fat composition which warms the body by burning energy to make heat. Our brown fat allows us to use calories to produce non-shivering heat!

The team of Dutch scientists found that non-shivering heat production via brown fat can actually account for 30% of your energy budget! Being in low temperatures for an extended period of time can help burn the calories you have stored as fat. Study author Wouter van Marken Lichtenbelt had this to say regarding the findings: "It could be a substantial influence and help in combinations with food changes and exercise."

We can actually increase the number of brown fat cells in our body in response to cold temperatures, causing us to feel warmer in colder weather. Dr. Phillip Scherer, Director of the Touchstone Center for Diabetes Research at UT Southwestern, had this to say regarding brown fat cells: "[E]ven as adults [it was once thought only infants could generate brown fat], we have the ability to generate brown fat cells in response to cold exposure. Unlike white fat cells that mostly just store fat, brown adipocytes keep us warm by burning fat at a high rate."

Brown fat cells are interspersed in a random fashion in our white fat, with increased accumulation around the upper torso and the neck. The UT Southwestern research has pointed to the fact that being exposed to the cold doesn't retool our white fat cells into brown fat cells but actually causes the completely new generation of brown fat cells. To see some of the added benefits of brown fat accumulation, a Japanese study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation found that people who spent two hours in mildly cold temperatures (63 degrees F) over the course of six weeks burned significantly more calories than people who spent that time in warmer temperatures!

The accumulation of brown fat cells due to prolonged exposure to mild cold can have us burning calories in large quantities. Burning 30% of your body's total energy budget, a substantial amount of calories, can possibly be achieved by lowering your thermostat. This can save you money in the process as well!

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