Cold Exposure, Capsinoids Promote Development of Beige Fat

(HealthDay News) — A molecular circuit has been identified that controls beige adipocyte biogenesis, according to research published in Diabetes.

Noting that beige adipocytes are gaining attention as an attractive cellular target for anti-obesity therapy, Kana Ohyama, from the Institute for Innovation at the Ajinomoto Company in Kawasaki, Japan, and colleagues examined the molecular circuits that preferentially promote beige adipocyte biogenesis.

The researchers found that the combination of mild cold exposure (17 degrees Celsius) and capsinoids synergistically promoted beige adipocyte biogenesis and improved diet-induced obesity. Based on gain- and loss-of-function studies, beige adipocyte development was promoted synergistically by the combination of cold exposure and capsinoids through the β2-adrenoceptor signaling pathway. The synergistic effect occurred via an increased half-life of PRDM16, which is a dominant transcriptional regulator of the development of brown/beige adipocytes.

“Our observations document a previously unappreciated molecular circuit that controls beige adipocyte biogenesis and suggest a plausible approach to increase whole body energy expenditure by combining dietary components and environmental cues,” the researchers wrote.

Several authors are employees of Ajinomoto, which funded the study.


  1. Ohyama K, Nogusa Y, Shinoda K, Suzuki K, Bannai M, Kajimura S. A synergistic anti-obesity effect by a combination of capsinoids and cold temperature through promoting beige adipocyte biogenesis. Diabetes. 2016. doi:10.2337/db15-0662.