People's bodies now run cooler than 'normal' – even in the Bolivian Amazon - Yahoo News
Oct 28, 2020 1 min, 18 secs
observed a lower average body temperature of 97.9 F?

One leading hypothesis is that thanks to improved hygiene, sanitation and medical treatment, people today experience fewer of the infections that would trigger higher body temperatures.

Having worked with the Tsimane studying a variety of topics related to health and aging for two decades, our team had a rich opportunity to observe whether body temperatures were similarly declining in this tropical environment where infections are common.

When we first started working in Bolivia back in 2002, Tsimane body temperatures were similar to what was found in Germany and the U.S.

But over a relatively short period of 16 years, we observed a rapid decline in average body temperature in this population.

Today Tsimane body temperatures are roughly 97.7 F.

More importantly, while having certain ailments, like respiratory or skin infections, was associated with higher body temperature during a medical visit, adjusting for these infections did not account for the steep decline in body temperature over time?

So why have body temperatures decreased over time, both for Americans and Tsimane.

Our results suggest that reduced incidence of infection alone can’t explain the observed body temperature declines.

It’s also possible that greater use of certain medications like ibuprofen or aspirin may reduce inflammation and be reflected in the lower temperatures.

While Tsimane body temperatures do change with the time of year and weather patterns, the Tsimane don’t use any advanced technology to regulate their body temperature.

Whatever the reason, though, we can confirm that body temperatures are below 98.6 F outside of places like the U.S.


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