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Shivering As Effective As Exercise

Update Date: Feb 04, 2014 07:05 PM EST

Shivering may provide the same benefits as exercise, according to a new study.

Scientists found that shivering releases a hormone called irisn that stimulates fat tissue to produce heat so the body can maintain its core temperature. Researchers explain that this hormone is also produced by muscle during exercise. Researchers said the latest findings show that shivering boosts metabolism and produces calorie-burning brown fat.

The latest findings also revealed that irisin is produced in proportion to shivering intensity.  Furthermore, human fat cells burned more energy and released more heat when they were treated with FNDC5, a precursor of irisin.

The findings suggest that exercise-induced production of irisin could have evolved from a similar mechanism that occurs following shivering-related muscle contractions in order to burn calories and generate heat, according to researchers.

This research may reveal why exercise increases secretion of a hormone that makes the body maintain its internal temperature," Dr. Francesco S. Celi of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases said in a news release.

Researchers said the findings suggest that using the muscle-fat crosstalk that is mediated by irisin may represent a new way to treat or prevent obesity.

Perhaps lowering the thermostat during the winter months could help both the budget and metabolism," added Celi.

The findings are published in the journal Cell Metabolism.

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