Cool it

Researchers have previously reported that caloric restriction may help prolong the lifespan of healthy individuals (and by individuals I mean the work to date has been done in rodents and non-human primates and by caloric restriction I mean a miserable twigs and berries and not a chocolate in sight diet- but I digress). One of the mechanisms proposed to contribute to the anti-aging effects of caloric restriction is the reduction of the core body temperature. Recently, in a bid to be clever and get around the whole dieting regime, a research group at the Scripps Institute in California has produced a genetically modified mouse (pdf of research article and commentary article below) that results in a core body temperature reduced by 0.3-0.5 degrees celsius. With the same caloric intake, the modified mice went on to have a 12-20% longer lifespan than their littermate control partners. While this is equivalent to 89-112 days in the life of a mouse, a comparable percentage increase in the human life span is 7-8 years. Now the body is very good at keeping the core temperature at 37 so I may need a few subjects for a little brain manipulation to see how well this research crosses the species divide- any volunteers?



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2 Responses to Cool it

  1. sammy says:

    Let me get this straight. You wish to induce in me a miserable and permanent shiver and by way of compensation you offer a prolonged term? This is almost as appealing as life insurance.

  2. Scott says:

    I’m not sure you do have it straight–I suspect the shiver response happens when your body temperature is below what it thinks is normal. If “normal” is shifted lower a few degrees it wouldn’t mean you shiver all the time, you’d just shiver when your temp got below the new lower normal temp.

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