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Cold Exposure Induces Epigenetic Modifications Beneficial for Long-Term Health

A recent study on mice shows that short-term cold exposure can induce long-lasting health benefits through persistent epigenetic modifications. The study found that 24 hours at 15°C can boost brown fat function, helping mice tolerate freezing temperatures better.


This process, known as hormesis, activates adaptive responses in brown fat, enhancing thermogenesis by activating UCP1 and PGC-1α. Remarkably, these benefits last up to seven days thanks to sustained epigenetic changes involving the transcriptional activator C/EBPβ.


These adaptive mechanisms improve metabolism and energy expenditure, potentially aiding in weight management and reducing the risk of metabolic disorders. Embracing a bit of cold might be a simple way to boost your health and resilience!

 

Inoue, S.-i., et al., Short-term cold exposure induces persistent epigenomic memory in brown fat. Cell Metabolism, 2024.

 




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