Can Temperature Training Make Us Warmer and Slimmer?

Cold Person ShiveringIn a recent study published in Trends in Endocrinology & Metabolism, Dutch researchers propose the theory that exposure to cold promotes weight loss.  We’ve seen this theory in previous research:  Exposure to temperatures cold enough to be uncomfortable promotes the production of brown fat in our bodies and brown fat helps us burn fat.

We posed a question seeing previous studies on this subject that’s yet to be answered “Do Raynaud’s sufferers naturally produce more brown fat and therefore – all other things being equal (e.g., metabolism) – tend to be thinner than non-Raynaud’s sufferers?”  We have seen a tendency for Frosties to be on the slim side in general.  One might hypothesize that lower body fat could make someone more susceptible to being cold, but this research would suggest the reverse:  Our response to the cold could be generating energy that lowers our body fat, making people who are often cold slimmer.  Definitely something worth exploring!

These Dutch researchers noted that in a separate study, cold discomfort in subjects decreased over time through temperature training – a process of being exposed to temperatures of 15 °C (59 °F) for six hours per day over ten days.  OK, that could be brutal for some of us Frosties, but maybe the training threshold for Raynaud’s sufferers could start higher and be increased over time?  Is temperature training a potential treatment for Raynaud’s phenomenon?  This theory would conflict with our understanding that Raynaud’s can be a conditioned response and repeated exposure can potentially make attacks more frequent and severe.  Perhaps there’s a fine line threshold where the two theories result in different outcomes?

So many questions we’d love to see researched…Here’s the article in the myHEALTH section of the Canadian news publication CTV News.