illustration:Midori Nakajima

Winter is the best season to increase your metabolism!? Activate the TRP channel to burn fat

Did you know that you burn more calories in winter than summer? It is because you need more energy to protect you against the “cold” weather. As it gets cold, our body burns fat to increase body temperature and maintain body functions. As a result, “basal metabolism” is raised, increasing calories to be burned.

Cold activates the TRP channel, inducing energy burn with brown adipose tissue

In response to winter cold, the TRP channel family, or cell sensors of temperature and stimuli, plays a critical role in protecting the body. When you go out and shiver in the cold, your body generates heat. “Cool to cold” weather of below about 26℃ activates TRPM8 and then the sympathetic nervous system to trigger thermogenesis in brown adipose tissue. The sympathetic nervous system is also activated by TRPA1, which detects the main ingredients of wasabi and cinnamon, and induces energy burn with brown adipose tissue as TRPM8 does.

Brown adipose tissue, different from white adipose tissue which stores excess energy in form of fat, dissolves fat to generate heat. In other words, when activated, brown adipose tissue burns fat. If you go out of a warm room and expose yourself to the cold or take a walk in the neighborhood, you will burn more fat. Eating TRPM8-activating mint and TRPA1-activating food, including wasabi, onion, garlic and cinnamon, helps to boost fat burning.

Eat TRP channel-activating food to burn fat

Capsaicin of chili pepper is known to activate TRPV1 at a high temperature of 43℃ and over. TRPV1, like TRPM8, helps increase brown adipose tissue and accordingly burns body fat. In addition, fish oil typical of blue fishes such as sardine and mackerel activates TRPV1. Like capsaicin, the fish oil was found to burn fat fast.

To burn body fat efficiently, plan a diet rich in TRP channel-activating food to make good use of brown adipose tissue. Be careful not to consume too much fish oil to prevent excess calories or too much chili pepper, which is pungent. Moderation is best for all things. Better to be dressed lightly so that you can feel cold than to protect yourself perfectly against cold when you take a walk. This is the point of efficient fat burning