March 2, 2024

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Cold Exposure Offers More Than Just “Inhibiting Tumor Growth” Benefits!

Cold Exposure Offers More Than Just “Inhibiting Tumor Growth” Benefits!



Cold Exposure Offers More Than Just “Inhibiting Tumor Growth” Benefits! Just 2 Hours of Cold Exposure Can Bring This Health Advantage!

As early as 2015, research found that 10 days of low-temperature exposure could increase peripheral insulin sensitivity in type 2 diabetes patients by 43%. Previous animal studies in Nature confirmed that cold exposure could inhibit various tumor growth—compared to a 30°C environment, the growth rate of tumors in mice at 4°C was significantly suppressed, extending the survival of cancer patients.

Recently, a research team from Spain discovered a new health benefit of cold exposure: just 2 hours in a cold environment can alter the levels of signaling lipids in the body, thereby improving heart metabolism health. This study was published in Cell Reports Medicine.

Cold Exposure Offers More Than Just "Inhibiting Tumor Growth" Benefits! Just 2 Hours of Cold Exposure Can Bring This Health Advantage!

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.xcrm.2023.101387

The scientific community is intrigued by the new concept that “cold exposure may become a new means to resist metabolic heart diseases.” The main reason behind this is that cold exposure can activate brown adipose tissue (BAT).

BAT is a heat-generating tissue that consumes energy in the form of heat. Previous research has shown that BAT in the human body has a positive impact on heart metabolism health. A study covering over 130,000 individuals revealed a 4.9% and 3.1% reduction in the risk of type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease, respectively, in populations with detectable BAT.

So, how does BAT exert its health benefits?

It is believed that the secretion of brown adipose cell factors (batokines), i.e., “signal molecules that regulate metabolism,” such as 12,13-dihydroxy-9Z-octadecenoic acid (12,13-DiHOME), 12-hydroxyeicosapentaenoic acid (12-HEPE), endocannabinoids (eCBs), hemolytic phospholipids, and sphingolipids, may play a role. While mouse experiments have confirmed the health benefits of these brown adipose cell factors, their effects in the human body are yet to be confirmed.

To investigate the impact of cold exposure on plasma signaling lipids, researchers selected 64 sedentary adults aged 18-25. Blood samples and signaling lipids were collected before and after 2 hours of cold exposure.

After 2 hours of cold exposure, the levels of signaling lipids in the young adults changed. This included an increase in 32 out of 39 ω-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), such as linoleic acid (LA), dihomo-gamma-linolenic acid (DGLA), and arachidonic acid (AA), and an increase in all 17 ω-3 PUFAs, such as alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Conversely, cold exposure reduced the level of ω-6 oxidized lipid 9,12,13-TriHOME by 13.2%.

The ω-6 oxidized fatty acids related to platelets and ω-3 oxidized fatty acids derived from DHA showed the greatest increases. Cold exposure also increased two endocannabinoids (eCBs), arachidonoylethanolamide (AEA) and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), while reducing analogs 1-LG, 2-LG, 1-OG, and 2-OG.

Simultaneously, 9 out of 11 lysophosphatidic acids (LPAs) showed a decrease after exposure to cold, while lysophosphatidylethanolamine (LPE), lysophosphatidylglycerol (LPG) with PUFA, and lysophosphatidylserine (LPS) with PUFA significantly increased.

These results persisted in repeated analyses based on gender and weight. Notably, participants with normal weight experienced a greater increase in ω-6 and ω-3 oxidized fatty acid levels compared to overweight or obese individuals.

So, what does the change in levels of ω-6 and ω-3 oxidized fatty acids induced by cold exposure mean?

45% of the changes in ω-6 and ω-3 oxidized fatty acid levels were negatively correlated with fat content indicators, including body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, and visceral fat index. 30% were negatively correlated with glucose homeostasis parameters, including glucose, insulin, and the steady-state model assessment index of insulin resistance. 60% were negatively correlated with lipid indicators, including total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and triglycerides. 35% were negatively correlated with liver indicators, including alanine transaminase and gamma-glutamyl transferase.

In other words, from the perspective of fat percentage, blood sugar, lipids, and liver parameters, the levels of ω-6 and ω-3 oxidized fatty acids are associated with a healthier heart metabolism condition.

In contrast, the overall changes in endocannabinoids induced by cold exposure, along with their analogs, hemolytic phospholipids, and sphingosine-1-phosphate, showed no correlation with heart metabolism risk factors.

However, it’s worth noting that individuals with higher fat content and poor heart metabolism, after 2 hours of exposure to a cold environment, exhibited an impaired ability to release pro-inflammatory ω-6 and anti-inflammatory ω-3 oxidized fatty acids into the bloodstream.

In subsequent analyses, there was no clear correlation between the changes in signaling lipid levels induced by cold exposure and brown adipose tissue, with only about 4% of the changes being related to brown adipose tissue parameters. Therefore, different organs (such as the pancreas, liver, intestines, or immune cells) may influence the production of ω-6 and ω-3 oxidized fatty acids induced by cold exposure.

Finally, researchers also tested whether exercise would affect the levels of signaling lipids induced by cold exposure. The results showed that 24 weeks of continuous exercise did not alter plasma signaling lipid responses.

In summary, after just 2 hours of exposure to cold, the levels of signaling lipids in the bodies of young people undergo significant changes. The alterations in ω-6 and ω-3 oxidized fatty acids induced by cold exposure are negatively correlated with obesity, glucose homeostasis, lipid levels, and liver parameters, thereby further improving heart metabolism health. However, compared to individuals with normal weight, the increase in levels of ω-6 and ω-3 oxidized fatty acids is smaller in participants who are overweight or obese, indicating that lipid secretion is compromised in individuals with higher body fat.

Who would have thought that besides the beautiful scenery, winter also brings everyone a “health gift” – freezing for health!

Cold Exposure Offers More Than Just “Inhibiting Tumor Growth” Benefits! Just 2 Hours of Cold Exposure Can Bring This Health Advantage!


Reference:

[1]Jurado-Fasoli L, Sanchez-Delgado G, Di X, Yang W, Kohler I, Villarroya F, Aguilera CM, Hankemeier T, Ruiz JR, Martinez-Tellez B. Cold-induced changes in plasma signaling lipids are associated with a healthier cardiometabolic profile independently of brown adipose tissue. Cell Rep Med. 2024 Jan 18:101387. doi: 10.1016/j.xcrm.2023.101387. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 38262411.

(source:internet, reference only)

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