There are many inspiring benefits of winter swimming and nicotine and one of them is weight loss. Researchers from the University of Copenhagen researched and found out a way to speed up the digestion of mice which will eventually lead them to weight loss. This benefit is easily achievable by stimulating the cold and nicotine receptors in the body.
Obesity nowadays is one of the leading health issues all over the world especially in the western world, about half of the population of Denmark is falling under this health problem.
The researchers from the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen and collaborations have successfully traced a way to overcome this health issue. However, this method is up till now only tested on mice, which burned more energy, reduced the appetite as well as the weight of the mice.
The researches wanted to implement this in everyday life and researched whether pharmacologically they were able to copy the effects of winter swimming and nicotine. The outcome they reached was the increase in the level of energy turnover which is linked to a cold environment and suppressed appetite due to nicotine.
At first, they tried to activate the cold receptors which are linked with winter swimming. The cold receptors play an important role in burning the brown fat and production of energy.
“We tried to find the molecular mechanisms for the way in which cold increases the burning of energy in order to duplicate them in a medical product. We found a cold receptor—TRPM8—and identified the substance icilin, which can activate it. However, the cold receptor is not found in brown fat.”
“It seems that the cold receptor on the surface of the skin sends a signal to the brain that subsequently activates the brown fat via nerve connectors,” says Associate Professor Christoffer Clemmensen, CBMR, University of Copenhagen.
He further says, “The mice became slimmer when they were given icilin because it increased their energy turnover. This confirmed our idea. However, the effect we saw was not sufficiently strong to have any actual effect for patients, even if we could optimize the medical product.”
“If you want to change people’s body weight, it is not enough to target the energy turnover alone. To really create a negative energy balance, you also have to make people eat less.”
Thus the researchers started their work to find something that could be combined with icilin treatment. This eventually led them to work on the nicotine receptor. It is so called because nicotine is the only substance which can stimulate this receptor to perform its function and to suppress the appetite.
After experimenting on various pharmacological substances which can perform the same function as nicotine, the researchers were able to find out dimethylphenylpiperazinium- DMPP.
According to Associate Professor Christoffer Clemmensen, “DMPP not only suppresses the appetite, but it also has a huge positive effect on glucose metabolism as opposed to nicotine, which has a poor effect on fat in the liver and insulin sensitivity.”
“We, therefore, combined icilin and DMPP and achieved what you might call a synergy effect on body weight. This means that two plus two add up to more than four. On their own, they do not produce any particular weight loss, but when we give them together, we see a big weight loss.”
After receiving the treatment the mice went through a weight loss of about 12% in 20 days. The glucose intolerance vanished and digestion was enhanced. However, still much work is needed to know that whether this treatment is applicable and beneficial for humans or not.