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J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2007 Nov;92(11):4299-305. Epub 2007 Sep 4.

Individual thermogenic responses to mild cold and overfeeding are closely related.

Author information

1
Department of Human Biology, Nutrition and Toxicology Research Institute Maastricht, Maastricht University, 6200 MD Maastricht, The Netherlands. S.Wijers@hb.unimaas.nl

Abstract

CONTEXT:

Adaptive thermogenesis is defined as the increase in energy expenditure in response to overfeeding or cold. Large interindividual differences in adaptive thermogenesis have been described.

OBJECTIVE:

Because there are indications for a common underlying mechanism, we studied in humans whether the increase in thermogenesis during short-term overfeeding (3 d) is related to mild cold-induced thermogenesis.

INTERVENTIONS:

Thirteen lean male subjects have been exposed to three experimental conditions in respiration chambers: baseline (36 h in energy balance at thermoneutrality, 22 C), overfeeding (84 h at 160% of energy balance, 22 C), and mild cold (84 h in energy balance, 16 C).

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

During the interventions, total daily energy expenditure (TDEE), physical activity, skin temperatures, and core temperature were measured. After each condition, fasting plasma norepinephrine concentration was measured.

RESULTS:

Overfeeding caused significant increases in TDEE (0.77 MJ/d, P < 0.001). During cold exposure TDEE increased significantly (0.59 MJ/d, P < 0.005), whereas physical activity decreased. The changes in TDEE during both overfeeding and mild cold exposure showed considerable interindividual variation (respectively, -0.11 to 1.61 MJ/d and -0.19 to 1.58 MJ/d). The individual changes in energy expenditure during mild cold exposure and overfeeding were highly correlated (P < 0.005). Fasting norepinephrine plasma concentrations correlated significantly to energy expenditure in both situations (P < 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS:

These results suggest that both overfeeding-induced and mild cold-induced adaptive thermogenesis share common regulating mechanisms. This indicates that cold exposure could be used as a biomarker for the individual thermogenic response to excess energy intake.

PMID:
17785356
DOI:
10.1210/jc.2007-1065
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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