Shivering May Help Diabetics

A study has found that a lower thermostat in the cold weather can also mean higher insulin sensitivity in diabetics. So much so that it can be equal to what is accomplished through medication. Key to the effects are temperature swings throughout the day, the scientists found.

"It has previously been assumed that stable fixed indoor temperatures would satisfy comfort and health in most people,” said Wouter van Marken Lichtenbelt, Professor of Ecological Energetics and Health at Maastricht.

“However, this research indicates that mild cold and variable temperatures may have a positive effect on our health and at the same time are acceptable or even may create pleasure."

Type 2 diabetics changed their temperature for 10 days.

After the ten days, insulin sensitivity went up by more than 40 percent. Temperatures were varied from an average of 21C to 15-19C for a few hours each day. The study followed on from a 2014 study that looked at average household temperature and weight.

That previous study found that cooler home temperatures resulted in lower body weights as a means of helping to reduce obesity. Colder temperatures mean higher metabolic rates and shivering can burn up to 400 calories per hour, improving metabolic rates by five fold.

The researchers also found that people quickly adapt to lower temperatures and regulate body temperatures more naturally and with higher tolerances for discomfort.

Source: Telegraph.co.uk

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