Medical · June 8, 2021



Thermogenesis is the process of energy dissipation through heat production and occurs in specialized tissues, including skeletal muscle and adipose tissue. It is an essential physiological process and a normal part of metabolic processes. However, increased thermogenesis  indicates acute-phase responses. It occurs after inflammation, injury, infection, physical and emotional stress, and also in some chronic medical conditions.

It is also a primary effector of thermoregulation in homeotherms, a crucial fever mediator.

What Are the Types of Thermogenesis?

Thermogenesis is the production of heat within the tissues to raise body temperature. It occurs to maintain the body temperature within a narrow range. There are two types of thermogenesis and these are as follows:

Shivering Thermogenesis:

This you may be aware of. It involves repeated rapid contractions of antagonistic sets of skeletal muscles, which generates little net movement. The process converts most of the chemical energy into heat instead of mechanical work.

Nonshivering Thermogenesis:

It takes place in your fat cells. It involves the breakdown of stored fat for generating heat in situ instead of being transported to the liver to convert ATP.

This process is activated through the sympathetic nervous system. It is accomplished in two ways: non-productive cyclical active transit of ions across the fat-cell plasma membrane and uncoupling electron transport from ATP synthesis within the fat-cell mitochondria.

The net result is the release of energy from the current ATP and fat oxidation for producing heat instead of ATP.

What is Responsible for Thermoregulation?

The Hypothalamus is in the center of the brain’s cerebrum and is responsible for the process of thermoregulation. When you are feeling very cold, your Hypothalamus can cause your muscles to shiver. It can increase your metabolism five-fold and can raise the body temperature. Whereas, if you begin to get hot, either because of weather or exercises, your Hypothalamus will cause you to sweat. It will help your body to lower its temperature.

The role of thermoregulation is to maintain the body temperature at the perfect balance; Homeostasis. Thermoregulation is one control for Homeostasis but is not the only one. Our body also regulates blood glucose, calcium levels, the partial pressure of Co2 and o2, etc.

Exercise-induced Thermogenesis

Exercise-induced Thermogenesis is when the body generates heat to warm up the muscles’ work and in turn they function more efficiently. This is the reason why you begin to warm up and sweat out as you work out. It is because your body is firing off chemical reactions to keep the muscles warm.

This is why it is essential to stretch and cool down slowly after exercise. You should not allow your muscles to suddenly go from a hot working state to a cold resting state. This will help you stay safe from injuries.

Conclusion: It is the process of heat generation in all warm-blooded organisms. Some mammals have deposits of a unique fatty tissue known as brown fat while being adapted to provide the body with intense heat bursts. Brown fat deposits are also present in babies and other neonate mammals to help protect themselves against hypothermia