The metabolic benefits of chilling out

Cooler temperatures increase the amount of heat-generating brown fat in people, according to research from Sydney being presented today at the ICE/ENDO 2014 meeting in Chicago.

The team, led by endocrinologist Dr Paul Lee, exposed five healthy men to four month-long periods of defined temperatures for the study. They found brown fat increased by 30-40% in the men during the coldest month.

By contrast, the warmer months saw a drop in brown fat content.

Dr Lee said the findings were promising for people with diabetes: the improved insulin sensitivity accompanying brown fat gain could help to bring sugar levels down after meals.

Read more at Garvan Institute of Medical Research