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Effect Of Cold Showers On The Risk Of Obesity And Diabetes

In modern life, almost everyone is afraid of the shivering feeling when standing under a cold shower. The reason is because we have been so "pampered" ourselves and have conditions to bathe water more and more easily.

However, scientists point out that cold showers can be a simple way to prevent obesity and diabetes. "Exposing yourself to cold temperatures will reduce excess fat and turn white fat into brown fat, the type of fat that will help you lose weight," says Alexa Fleckenstein, a famous medical doctor, author of the book " The Diabetes Cure "said.

In our bodies, there is an important type of fat, called white fat. It is found around the hips, thighs, buttocks, female breasts and mainly in the male abdomen. White fat provides energy stores, buffers and insulation for the organs and contributes to the production of many essential hormones.

However, too much white fat is accumulated and will be harmful. That's when we consume more calories than our body needs. An excess of white fat is associated with the occurrence of metabolic syndrome. This means an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer.

In contrast, another type of fat, called brown fat, has been shown to be very good for the body. It is found around the neck and back. Brown fat burns without storing calories. This is a very beneficial effect. It produces heat to keep warm, reduce triglyceride levels, and reduce the incidence of fatty liver, increase bone mineral density and aid weight loss.

Normally, the amount of brown fat in our bodies is relatively large as a child. Growing up, brown fat gradually disappeared. People who keep a large amount of brown fat will tend to be younger and slimmer. Therefore, the production of extra brown fat will be very beneficial for the body. A cold shower is one way to do this.

The method is shown in a scientific paperpublished in 2014 by endocrinologist Paul Lee, from the Garvan Institute, Sydney. He himself has taken cold baths for 6 years.

Accordingly, when taking a cold shower, or simply being exposed to winter outdoor temperatures, you may know that brown fat begins to accumulate after a shiver.
"We have selected healthy volunteers and put them in the environment gradually reduced from 18 ° C to 12 ° C. The amount of hormone in the body is recorded, before and after they have a shiver. "

 Lee said.

He and his team observed an increase in two hormones, FGF21 and irisin.
 "These are hormones that convert normal fat cells into beneficial brown fat cells." 
Lee explained.

Basically, the process happens as follows: When taking a cold shower, your body will have a shiver. Muscles begin to produce irisin which increases the amount of brown fat in the body. When brown fat has accumulated enough, it begins to heat. At this point, your body is no longer cold so you continue to shiver. That is also the reason, we rarely shiver many times when exposed to cold.

However, it did not stop there, continuing to stand under the cold water stream to produce FGF21. This hormone maintains the accumulation of brown fat and creates its metabolic benefits. When taking a cold bath, you will only see an initial shiver. And then there's the interesting warming created by brown fat.

In Paul Lee's study, he also showed that irisin is produced during our exercise. Therefore, it is possible to compare the relative benefits of two cold baths and workouts. Accordingly, 10 to 15 minutes of cold baths, or exposing yourself to low temperatures, are effective as an hour of moderate exercise.

In 2012, another study conducted by Dr. Bruce Spiegelman, from Harvard Medical School also pointed out the benefits of the hormone irisin, produced after you were exposed to cold water. He and his team injected irisin directly into mice and observed weight loss effects and increased brown fat.

After 10 days of testing, diabetic and obese mice showed positive signs. Their blood sugar and insulin levels are kept at normal levels. Besides, no side effects were noted.

In short, a cold bath will contribute to reducing the risk of diabetes and obesity through the production of brown fat, with the help of the two hormones irisin and FGF21. In addition, a cold shower also helps increase alertness, improve the immune system, reduce stress and depression.

However, there are a few things to keep in mind if you want to experience these benefits:

1. Take a cold shower only when your body is in good health.

2. Cold water bath constrict blood vessels. This is not good for patients with high blood pressure.

3. People suffering from arthritis, sciatica, allergies, urticaria with the weather should not take cold water bath

4. Although it has the effect of preventing diabetes in healthy people, in the process of taking cold water, the amount of Blood sugar will temporarily rise. Patients who already have diabetes should pay attention to this.

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