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Topical Menthol Thermogenesis

Discussion in 'Cold Thermogenesis' started by pthomaslandry@gmail.com, Apr 24, 2012.

  1. Got thinking about pathways, thought there might be another trigger of same afferent nerve... dug... Menthol... Dug further... Found a study, which confirms activation:

    Tajino et al. (2011) recently reported that topical menthol application or cold temperature led to an increase in core body temperature that was dependent on TRPM8 expression and that TRPM8 expression was correlated with cold-induced UCP expression in BAT. However, for the first time, our study has demonstrated TRPM8 expression in brown adipocytes and has revealed a molecular pathway for TRPM8-dependent UCP1 expression. Although specific β3-adrenergic agonists can induce BAT activity and can activate thermogenesis in rodents, no metabolic effects of this agent were observed in a double-blinded, placebo-controlled randomized clinical study (Redman et al., 2007). Acute activation of TRPM8 induces both BAT and non-BAT-mediated heat-gain responses (Tajino et al., 2007). The present study cannot completely exclude some non-BAT-mediated effects in mice on long-term menthol diet.


    CT without the C. MT...
  2. chocolate

    chocolate Silver

    I have some ripping cream from poland....lots of stuff in it... lol...I don't use it since the cold water
  3. After searching for any possible side effects or contraindications and finding nothing of note, I have tried this n=1 on myself.

    Now that I am cold adapted (temp goes up in cold consistently), I wanted to see if menthol increased my core temperature and was therefore tricking my body into thinking it was thermally cold by activating the same nerve/response.

    I hit some of torso (maybe 50% coverage) with a 15% menthol solution applied as a mist. Cold sensation was continuous for approximately 30 mins. Internal temp went up during (a few degrees more than normal) and mild shivering ensued about 10 mins after the cold sensation went away. Same to somewhat stronger response than ice tub ct.

    Much less bearable than a 40-50 deg bath, as there was not the almost immediate numbness that I get now in the bath. Fairly uncomfortable, but not enough to deter me from repeating.

    Baths are easier (less of the cold sensation) and more enjoyable, but this certainly thus far seems to be a valid way to get more CT while out and about. My n=1 so far shows similar response of sensory (menthol ligand) and thermal based TRPM8 activation.
  4. ColdBren

    ColdBren New Member

    That is amazing...I have a feeling this is not Dr. K approved though...right?

  5. I asked him directly about it here


    I'm more inclined to go with the more natural cold as the difference in going numb is notable (and more comfortable). The vasoconstriction is the same, but there might be more to it than just activating UCP1.

    The bigger point is that we didn't evolve in menthol, but cold.

    Just an interesting extrapolation experiment.
  6. villjamur_stevenson

    villjamur_stevenson New Member

    where did you get your menthol? Did you just use peppermint oil?
  7. Cody

    Cody New Member

    +1, recommendations, please. This would be nice to use when I don't have a chance to use the ice or water.
  8. Souldanzer

    Souldanzer Banned

    Tiger Balm? I just put it on my neck...
  9. Envisioning marketing a "on the go CT" product made with the menthol oil in a coconut oil rub. If you keep doing, keep reporting. Any chance you can do this while at the MRI so you can see if it stimulates your BAT? Thanks.

  10. The cheapest drugstore label brand of icy hot had only glycerin, menthol, alcohol and water as ingredients. Some have lots of fragrances and other ingredients in them.

    Avoid anything with camphor as it will activate the heat receptor.

    You can get bulk menthol crystals from amazon to make your own.

    I'd assume that mint or similar oils would work as well but they are much more expensive.

    I'll say again though, this is more uncomfortable than water, and you cant just "get out", you have to wait for it to unbind.

    This not a replacement, as it is not a natural thing we'd find in our environment. Maybe someday we will have it all worked out, but for now we should be mimicking nature.

    It may very well be that this can desensitize your cold receptors.

    But if you try it at your risk and volition, post results here so we can gather more data.
  11. villjamur_stevenson

    villjamur_stevenson New Member

    Will do! I don't have access to icy hot tonight, but I do have some unused peppermint oil at home. I'll try it out on a small area.
  12. Entelechy

    Entelechy New Member

    great find Tom. I had tried looking into this, and what I found was that even at 10% menthol, the 'perceived' coldness did not get cold enough (did not create a voltage potential on the neuron high enough) to meet the 50-55 degree requirement.

    This paper you found empirically demonstrates otherwise!
  13. Entelechy

    Entelechy New Member

    hmmm... reading this paper, they aren't applying it topically... they are feeding it to the mice, and a lot of it.

    "There is a lot of data strongly suggesting that TRPM8 may have diverse biological functions outside of the peripheral nervous system."

    e.g. "A role for TRPM8 in either normal or cancerous prostate tissues is still unclear, and studies using models of prostate cancer, such as LNCaP cells, have shown that the channel does respond to cold and menthol in these cells [43]. However, the channel is not present on the cell surface but is trapped in intracellular membrane compartments such as the endoplasmic reticulum. This expression is androgen dependent, suggesting that TRPM8 may play a role in differentiating these cells"

    Plays a role in cell differentiation... eek. :-S

    it would be great to find a study showing topical application is sufficient to induce thermogenesis.
  14. villjamur_stevenson

    villjamur_stevenson New Member

    Good catch, I will hold off. I'm searching pubmed over and over, but everything I see is dietary menthol. And based on the other posts, peppermint tea doesn't seem to be the greatest thing for men!
  15. villjamur_stevenson

    villjamur_stevenson New Member


    This is suggestive......
  16. villjamur_stevenson

    villjamur_stevenson New Member

  17. Nice find, I saw the last study too, which is what prompted me further to give it a shot. The other linked it to BAT production specifically.

    It would make sense that the internal receptors are what induced the ingested menthol response in mice. There is certainly more at play here than just exciting the neurons, and this appears to be well outside of the natural human evolutionary experience, and hence I do not feel comfortable doing this long term.
  18. Big Bobcat

    Big Bobcat New Member

    Would something like Vick vapo-rub (with menthol) be appropriate for this?

  19. Look at the ingredients, a lot of the rubs and ointments have camphor (which activates the heat receptor). As long as the ingredients are menthol, and some inactive solvents/carriers like (alcohol/glycerol/water) it should work. But do this with caution, you can't just wipe it off.

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