Facebook PixelIs our mean body temperature decreasing and why? What can we learn from it?
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Is our mean body temperature decreasing and why? What can we learn from it?

Is our mean body temperature decreasing and why? What can we learn from it?

Image credit: https://www.pexels.com/photo/medicines-thermometer-5795/

By Juran K. on Nov 11, 2020

[1] https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/10/201028171432.htm

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_body_temperature

[3] https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/6/44/eabc6599

Creative contributions

Not global warming

[1] https://www.jci.org/articles/view/135006

[2] https://theconversation.com/how-rising-temperatures-affect-our-health-123016

by Shubhankar Kulkarni on Nov 12, 2020

Juran K. 11 days ago
Thank you for the contribution! I was thinking about this one, too, but I couldn't find something interesting.
For me, it also makes sense that the body temperature decreasing could be a potentially good strategy against global warming, but I didn't see any signs of this happening. I guess there really is something with much bigger effect that causes the drop.

I don't think its population getting older

[1] https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/age-dependency-breakdown

[2] https://ourworldindata.org/world-population-growth

[3] https://www.prb.org/2020-world-population-data-sheet/#:~:text=The%20world%20population%20is%20projected,as%20in%20the%20United%20States.

by Shubhankar Kulkarni on Nov 12, 2020

Juran K. 11 days ago
I am impressed by the way how you solve problems! The data you extrapolated really says that older population temperature could not be responsible for the drop. I guess it could play a small part in it, but can't fully address it.

What could affect your extrapolated data is the fact that 65 years of age in 1861 was different from being 65 years old today. Since people's lifespan prolonged in this period, maybe being 65 then is more similar to today's 75/80.
But even if we adjust the data (e.g. that today's 65 is 45 in 1861), I think the rate of change would still not be big enough to independently address the problem.

Problems with Carl Wunderlich's temperature measurements

[1] Mackowiak PA, Wasserman SS, Levine MM. A Critical Appraisal of 98.6°F, the Upper Limit of the Normal Body Temperature, and Other Legacies of Carl Reinhold August Wunderlich. JAMA. 1992;268(12):1578–1580. doi:10.1001/jama.1992.03490120092034 https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/400116

by Shubhankar Kulkarni on Nov 12, 2020

Juran K. 10 days ago
I agree. Carl wunderlich also stated that he had a sample of 1 million adults. We definitely need to be careful.

Maybe the hypothalamus?

[1] [1] D. Grimaldi et al., “Evidence of a diurnal thermogenic handicap in obesity,” Chronobiol. Int., 2015.

[2] [1] F. Bastardot, P. Marques-Vidal, and P. Vollenweider, “Association of body temperature with obesity. The CoLaus study,” Int. J. Obes., 2019.

by Martina Pesce on Nov 13, 2020

Juran K. 7 days ago
Thank you Martina Pesce on your contributions! This could be on track of something very specific and easier to check, not only statistically, but also experimentally. I like the second paper you referenced. It's simple and clear.

But what they state is that body temperature is positively associated with obesity markers in men and postmenopausal women, what is different from our theory in the beginning of the session. That would mean that our temperature is decreasing because we are getting more fit.

But they also state some other interesting viewpoints that could help us:
- the increase body area of obese subjects does not influence significantly their temperature,
- adipose tissue is secreting hormones (leptin, adiponectin, and cytokines) that could affect other systems like cardiovascular and increase the temperature
- they suspect on indirect relationship between intestinal microbiota composition and thermal homeostasis in humans
Martina Pesce an hour ago
Juran K.
the temperature is positively correlated in the second paper, yes, but in many more was the opposite. I also like more the clarity of the last one.

So, considering that the theme is discussed and sustained in both the opposites directions, it may actually not be the best indicator for our investigation.
This actually sounds to me familiar and typical for obesity-related topics.
It's a very complex phenomenon influenced by many different factors that itself influence many other factors.
edit: just after this I found that somehow obesity is side correlated, for that check my contribution "Great for the lifespan"

How about prostaglandins and IUD?

[1] "Eicosanoid Synthesis and Metabolism: Prostaglandins, Thromboxanes, Leukotrienes, Lipoxins". themedicalbiochemistrypage.org. Retrieved 2018-09-21.

[2] Mary Anne Koda-Kimble (2007). Handbook of Applied Therapeutics (8th ed.). Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. p. 1104. ISBN 9780781790260.

by Martina Pesce on Nov 13, 2020

Shubhankar Kulkarni 5 days ago
Juran K. Only 10% of the women in the United States use intrauterine devices (https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/contraceptive.htm). Martina Pesce How do the IUDs affect body temperature - positively or negatively?
Martina Pesce an hour ago
Shubhankar Kulkarni
UPS! I must have got confused: IUD increases the productions of prostaglandins, which increases the temperature. So, actually...not the IUD.
Juran K. 7 days ago
Nice! I didn't remember to look at the problem from that perspective. It could be useful to look for inner regulators of body temperature and what affects them.

Also, since 49.584% of the world population are women (https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SP.POP.TOTL.FE.ZS), the intrauterine device could affect the temperature on a larger scale. But we first need the data on how many females actually use those.

Great for the lifespan

[1] Conti, B.; Sanchez-Alavez, M.; Winsky-Sommerer, R.; Morale, M. C.; Lucero, J.; Brownell, S.; Fabre, V.; Huitron-Resendiz, S.; Henriksen, S.; Zorrilla, E. P.; De Lecea, L.; Bartfai, T. (2006). "Transgenic Mice with a Reduced Core Body Temperature Have an Increased Life Span". Science. 314 (5800): 825–828.

by Martina Pesce on Nov 23, 2020

A bit of everything

by Martina Pesce on Nov 13, 2020

Shubhankar Kulkarni 5 days ago
Martina Pesce I had the same thought. You beat me to it. :)
Juran K. 7 days ago
I agree with you. Maybe I can do an updating list of proposed "maybe's and maybe-not's" on the bottom of session description, so that every newcomer has an overall picture what has been proposed or not.

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