Here’s the truth about cold weather and getting sick

Feet in woolen socks in front of a warm fireplace on a cold winters evening.

Is it just an old wives’ tale?

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Matt Cook here, and remember going outside as a kid without a jacket and your mom screaming “you’re going to get sick!”

But is it true?

Does the cold actually increase your chances of getting sick?

Check out this study from Japan for the answer — it can keep you healthy this winter.

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Here’s the truth about cold weather and getting sick

It used to be common knowledge that getting cold and wet could lead to infectious disease. 

Water draws heat from the body more rapidly — so it serves to make you colder faster.

But the more we learned about viruses and bacteria the more people tended to dismiss this idea.

I mean, how exactly would a colder body temperature attract more viruses or bacteria? 

Of course it doesn’t.

But contracting an infectious disease does not simply depend on the presence of a virus or bacteria — it also depends on the body’s immune response to those pathogens.

And researchers have now shown that a lower body temperature leads to increased inflammation in the body in response to infectious agents. 

The changes in these inflammatory proteins may not entice tiny viral/bacterial agents into your body…

But these changes will severely limit your body’s ability to deal with these invaders.

The experiments prove that simply being cold can have a major influence on your likelihood of developing an infectious disease like cold, flu, or even C-19.

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The research was carried out at Yamaguchi University School of Medicine in Japan. 

The findings were published in the Journal of Neurosurgical Anesthesiology.

Inflammation plays a major role in infectious disease. 

A healthy body should ramp up the production of inflammatory proteins quickly — these proteins can help to stamp out viral and bacterial infection.

A healthy body should then quickly decrease the amount of these inflammatory proteins, and start to release anti-inflammatory proteins.

Many of the symptoms attributed to infectious disease are caused by out-of-control inflammation in the body.

These Japanese researchers wanted to know whether ambient temperature, which will affect body temperature, could change the inflammatory state of the body…

Which could compromise immune system function and lead to disease.

“Hypothermia is often associated with compromised host defenses and infection.”

Hypothermia is simply lower than average body temperature.

The researchers recruited 10 healthy participants for their study.

They drew blood samples from all of the participants.

The researchers extracted important immune cells from these blood samples. (Mononuclear blood cells.)

These immune cell samples were then mixed with something called lipopolysaccharide — also known as endotoxin.

Lipopolysaccharide is part of the structure of common bacteria.

It is the direct cause of most symptoms of both bacterial and viral infection.

Bacterial infections create a lot of lipopolysaccharide as the bacteria replicate. 

Viral infections tend to break down barriers in the body, allowing lipopolysaccharide from existing bacteria to permeate all throughout the system.

So the researchers cultured the blood samples with lipopolysaccharide at body temperature and at a temperature below that of a healthy body.

“Monocytes obtained from blood samples of 10 healthy humans were cultured with lipopolysaccharide under hypothermic or normothermic conditions for 48 hours.”

The normal body temperature experiment was set to 98.6°F. 

The low body temperature experiment was set to 93.2°F.

The researchers found a significant difference in the production of inflammatory and anti-inflammatory proteins from these immune cells cultured with lipopolysaccharide at different temperatures.

“Compared with normal body temperature, mild hypothermia raised the levels of many inflammatory proteins.

A cold body temperature can lead to inflammation, this can significantly increase symptoms caused by an infectious agent — whether viral or bacterial.

“This study demonstrates that mild hypothermia affects the balance of inflammatory proteins produced by monocytes, leading to a pro-inflammatory state.”

The final line of the abstract of this study leaves the interpretation open in a typical scientific manner…

“… the clinical significance of these phenomena remains to be clarified.”

… but surely the clinical significance of these findings is clear — and something which used to be common knowledge.

Getting cold can significantly increase the risk of getting sick from an infectious disease.

The immune system can elevate and reduce inflammation rapidly.

A healthy immune system does this very well.

But our response to infectious agents depends largely on the health of her immune system — not what infectious agents we are exposed to.

Keeping a high body temperature, whether through keeping the ambient temperature cozy or by keeping your metabolic rate high…

…is essential for optimal health and resistance to infectious disease.

—-Important Message for Protecting Your Immune System—-

Here’s how to use cheap OTC remedies to boost your natural immunity to flus and viruses

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Matt Cook is editor-in-chief of Daily Medical Discoveries. Matt has been a full time health researcher for 26 years. ABC News interviewed Matt on sexual health issues not long ago. Matt is widely quoted on over 1,000,000 websites. He has over 300,000 daily newsletter readers. Daily Medical Discoveries finds hidden, buried or ignored medical studies through the lens of 100 years of proven science. Matt heads up the editorial team of scientists and health researchers. Each discovery is based upon primary studies from peer reviewed science sources following the nizoral seborrheic dermatitis to ensure accuracy.


Mild hypothermia promotes pro-inflammatory cytokine production in monocytes