Diet Supplement May Keep Seniors Warm
As summer draws to an end in the Northern Hemisphere and cooler weather approaches, many older adults – who are often more sensitive to the cold – are already taking steps to stay warm this fall and winter. A dietary supplement called L-carnitine may one day help them better regulate their body temperature in the cold.
In a mouse study conducted at the University of Utah Health in Salt Lake City, researchers focused on fat molecules (lipids) called acylcarnitines that are produced when brown fat is activated to generate heat in response to lower temperatures. Aging reduces stores of brown fat in the body – in mice and in humans – decreasing the ability to regulate core temperature effectively.
Researchers gave older mice L-carnitine, which is known to increase blood levels of acylcarnitines, and discovered that the animals’ ability to adapt to the cold improved. This study was published in Cell Metabolism.