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Why "cold Thermogenesis" Is Not Good For You

Discussion in 'Scientific Studies' started by haidut, Dec 24, 2013.

  1. haidut

    haidut Member

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    It seems that for the paleo fans and people like Jack Kruse the term "cold thermogenesis" is all the rage these days. They claim it ramps up metabolism by stimulating the formation of brown adipose tissue (BAT) and increasing base temperature, thus leading to weight loss. Well, the latest study seems to suggest that if any weight is being lost during cold thermogenesis, it is muscle mass. Something you certainly do NOT need if you want to stay in good health. This, combined with the study on cancer suppression by warm environment point to the conclusion that cold is NOT your friend, since it is treated by your body as stress. I always through that this was self-evident but now it's backed by some science as well.
    https://www.facebook.com/SuppVersity/po ... 4847866335
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23908317
     
  2. charlie

    charlie The Law & Order Admin

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    Glad I didn't get one of the tubs and start torturing myself.
     
  3. pboy

    pboy Member

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    lol nice

    if anything you could just take a cold shower. I understand where they are coming from...but its counter intuitive...or actually more straightforward. If youre cold, you have to burn more energy to create heat. So if you stay in a cold bath for a while, youll temporarily be burning more energy and your metabolism will be ramped up. But its similar to a stress reponse...if you take a long cold shower day after day, the body will be saying to itself "this isn't good, we need to prepare to be able to maintain this stress, higher energy demand response", likely opening up the channels to shuttle in energy to brown fat stores (which are basically for the only purpose of thermogenesis, heat production...located mainly in the neck upper chest area). So the next day, and week after that...you stop the cold shower, and eat a lot...the body will be like "awesome, no cold stress today...energy coming in...but the cold might be coming tomorrow, so instead of burning this energy to create sex hormones and dopamine, ill store it to combat tomorrows cold stress", and the person feels lethargic and is wondering why the food didn't give them energy and it was stored in the brown fat cells. If you want to lose weight...you can indeed simply subject yourself to cold, but it should be only to lose a few pounds, and in acute situations. Its what wrestlers and boxers do to meet weight limits...they basically go cold for the day before the weigh in, reduce sugar salt and water to purposely get dehydrated, and try to use the cold to burn a few extra pounds before the weigh in. But over time, regularly, and the person telling themselves they must do it for a beneficial health purpose? Probably not good long term
     
  4. Such_Saturation

    Such_Saturation Member

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    I don't get the point of the study... cold thermogenesis is defined as a process which involves weeks of adaptation.
     
  5. pboy

    pboy Member

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    I suppose it would make you more tough minded, tough willed, and less afraid of extreme situations. But I don't know how that would translate to overall health, peace of mind, freedom from disease, longevity..anything like that
     
  6. yerrag

    yerrag Member

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  7. KalosKaiAgathos

    KalosKaiAgathos Member

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    Thanks Yerrag! Keep in mind that Peatarians will disagree with me.

    To clarify: I take somewhat a middle position between Peat and Kruse. On the one hand, I consider cold therapy beneficial if your health is good enough. On the other hand, I also think that you should NOT do very intense cold sessions, to get the most benefit - so I do think cold is stress (depending on how you define stress).

    The stress response is why Dr. Kruse is arguing that the skin temperature should not drop below 10 degrees Celsius. Now, to me, a lower-intensity cold therapy session would be comparable to walking. A high intensity cold session would be comparable to sprinting. But, remember, walking a lot can cause a lot of stress too (if you've ever joined your girlfriend for a day of shopping).
     
  8. KalosKaiAgathos

    KalosKaiAgathos Member

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    What I'm trying to do, is to look at the research myself, avoiding to blindly repeat Peat or Kruse (which is a hallmark of a bad scientist IMO).

    If you agree 90% - or worse: 100% - with someone on all issues in a given science (or collection of sciences), then you've probably not researched these subjects independently enough.

    I'm not judging people who are just lurking on the forums here by the way - I know most people are too busy to research everything independently. I'm describing the standard I'm holding myself to.
     
  9. michael94

    michael94 Member

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    well may be the exception most of the time is testicles
     
  10. yerrag

    yerrag Member

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    KalosKaiAgathos, I had wanted to look into cold thermogenesis just out of curiosity but it required more time and study and so I welcomed very much your article. I still don't know enough about it to form an opinion on it, but it made me think more. I can relate on the level of koi, but on a human level. I've raised koi for 7 years now - in a tropical climate. This isn't very long, but long enough for me to ask questions about how raising koi in a perpetual summer differs from raising koi in a temperate country.

    I have lately been disappointed that many of my koi did not last longer than 7 years, even as I made sure they ate well and the pond was well maintained. I didn't feed them commercial pellets, but fresh seawater fish and coconut. They grew well enough to be above 80 cm. The largest one was at 97 cm, which died about two weeks ago. It made me think whether their longevity would be favorably impacted in a temperate climate, where they would undergo a season of cold, which may benefit their mitochondrial health. It is an observation shared by many koi enthusiasts that the koi raised in Japan has superior skin and coloration such that the red coloration is thicker and thus more saturated. I concur with that observation as my koi's beni (red) lacked the depth of koi raised in Japan, which has winter and the cold environment for the koi to develop better.

    If appearance is an expression of health, of excess energy that is available to express itself in better skin in the koi, then it would seem credible that exposure to cold could be beneficial to my koi. To a certain extent, cold exposure could be beneficial as well to other life forms. Even humans. My experience with hot sauna and a cold dip had the unexpected result of making me lose a lot of weight. I wasn't planning on losing weight, but that it happened says at least something about it helping me lose some fat. I have a Tanita weighing scale that calculates fat percentage, and during that time my fat went down as well. So I can say it wasn't just muscle being burned off, but a lot of fat. Anyway, I eventually regained back my weight, which was normal or averge to begin with.

    With the limited experience I had with myself on cold exposure, and with my observations on my pet koi, I am given to consider cold thermogenesis more seriously as a therapy, or as part of a lifestyle.
     
  11. SB4

    SB4 Member

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    I did CT daily for 10 months. I experienced benefits and detriments. I think overall it wasn't a great idea due to my illness and the stress it caused my body, however I experienced significant muscle growth (no exercise) and some worrying heart symptoms decreased.
     
  12. KalosKaiAgathos

    KalosKaiAgathos Member

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    Now you know why I'm somewhat cautious about recommending CT to everyone SB4! If you're ill, CT might help, or might not, but it needs to be tested IMO.
     
  13. SB4

    SB4 Member

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    Indeed. It will depend on context. For my brother it allows him to workout far more frequently without ill effects. He however is relatively healthy.
     
  14. KalosKaiAgathos

    KalosKaiAgathos Member

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    Yes, I think sunlight and mantra meditation are far more important for general health for people who are in suboptimal health. And sufficient high quality calories, blocking blue and green light at night, etcetera.
     
  15. Xisca

    Xisca Member

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    Whatever some isolated experiment can be true about.....
    This statement as it is, is WRONG. Because of your definition of stress as an event, like cold. Being cold all the time is not your friend for sure! But cycles are our friends, and the less you are stimulated by cold, the colder you will feel! Tahitians shiver with blue lips in the sea at 25ªc!
    (nearly 80ºF for those who want the shock directly...)
    When I arrived in the subtropic with my habit of cold, I was warm and good... now I cannot stand the cold, so I am more cold than ever! As if my thermostat had changed...

    But I do not agree with the paleos either, because if you need to make ice and have a freezer, well this is not very paleo! I would definnitely use the reference of cold I have here by taking a bath in my water tank.... which is much colder than what you would accept for a swimming pool!

    Talking about swimming... don't you find the water cold when getting in? Then go out and go in again, it will feel less cold. Stay a bit in the water and then go out, and you will be cold too.

    Our body needs this to react!

    Zero stress is super unhealthy! What we need is to be resilient. What everybody calls stress nowaday is not stress but an excess of too much, too often and too intense with too little preparation for rebound! The key is in a resilient ANS.
     
  16. Xisca

    Xisca Member

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    Because it increases resilience!
    It stimulates the necessary pendulation in the body!
    A bit like needing to stop drinking or smoking to get the high again with a small dosis. We just need variations and cycles in life.
     
  17. Xisca

    Xisca Member

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    Most people are confused between a stress and its intensity... some people do not even recognize that shyness is fear, because they considere that fear is something more intense. Same, people will considere that punishment is hard, though it start with little intensity too, and you can get results with little. What people call punishment in general, I call it violence!

    Think about pendulation! you need to go slow to increase it, or the pendulum will jump all over the place!
     
  18. Xisca

    Xisca Member

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    and reduce intensity, build up through more time.....

    but all this you know, as I have just gone to your website! Very good article, and at least you mention very well the use of intensity and titration! I like the title, as I use nature as a reference all the time, and build my life around it.... I have had iinfluences that took me away from feeling the rightness of the personal path through experimenting with nature, and also I was starting this much before internet, so I have been too cautious or afraid sometimes...
     
  19. OP
    haidut

    haidut Member

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    Cold also increases the activity of the desaturase enzymes, thus increasing the ratio of PUFA/SFA. Cold has come up several times in this forum and in my experience it is similar to fasting - i.e. in a young, healthy person it can have stimulating and positive effects as a result of the increase in steroidogenesis (mostly DHEA) which is an adaptation result to cold in young/healthy people. But in older or sicker people it will mostly lead to high cortisol/adrenaline/estrogen without much benefit.
     
  20. Xisca

    Xisca Member

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    You will always be cold at each time warmer temperatures, if you stay warm all the time! If you get old without having the habit of the cold, it will be slow or impossible, but this is not healthy. When not used to, adaptation to cold has to be progressive.

    Once in a hot country, I woke up at night feeing cold and needing to cover me. I thought the temps had gone down! NO! 26ºC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And I was feeling super cold!

    Of course you get more pufas if you are cold regularly and all the time, I am not talking about this..., but being able to get warm and react to cold.

    ANYWAY, STRESS IS NOT WHAT HAPPENS, IT IS YOUR REACTION TO IT.
     
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