Ang QY, Goh HJ, Cao Y, et al. A new method of infrared thermography for quantification of brown adipose tissue activation in healthy adults (TACTICAL): a randomized trial. J Physiol Sci. 2017;67(3):395‐406. doi:10.1007/s12576-016-0472-1
The ability to alter the amount and activity of brown adipose tissue (BAT) in human adults is a potential strategy to manage obesity and related metabolic disorders associated with food, drug, and environmental stimuli with BAT activating/recruiting capacity. Infrared thermography (IRT) provides a non-invasive and inexpensive alternative to the current methods (e.g. 18F-FDG PET) used to assess BAT. We have quantified BAT activation in the cervical-supraclavicular (C-SCV) region using IRT video imaging and a novel image computational algorithm by studying C-SCV heat production in healthy young men after cold stimulation and the ingestion of capsinoids in a prospective double-blind placebo-controlled randomized trial. Subjects were divided into low-BAT and high-BAT groups based on changes in IR emissions in the C-SCV region induced by cold. The high-BAT group showed significant increases in energy expenditure, fat oxidation, and heat output in the C-SCV region post-capsinoid ingestion compared to post-placebo ingestion, but the low-BAT group did not. Based on these results, we conclude that IRT is a promising tool for quantifying BAT activity.