Our Temperature has evolved

A recent study showed that the normal body temperature of humans has dropped. Established as the norm, based on the temperatures of 25,000 people about 150 years ago, we all think of 37 degrees Celsius or 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit as our basal body temperature. Men now run at an average of 36.6 C (97.9 F) and women at 36.7 C (98.0 F.) It isn’t a lot, so what’s the big deal? Nothing really for the average person, but for scientists, it is interesting because it tells us that we have physiologically changed and evolved over just the past fifteen decades Perhaps it is because of changes in our environment and how we have modern ways to keep ourselves heated and cooled. It could be the foods we eat and the microorganisms we are exposed to, or perhaps it is indicative of a drop in overall inflammation.

I’ll leave it to the experts to tell us if it is good news or bad news, but at first pass, I can see it both ways. It means our metabolic rate is probably lower. If that’s because of decreased inflammation, great. If it is just because of lifestyle, it may help to explain the obesity epidemic. Are we burning fewer calories at rest? Does the fact that we are changing at a reasonably rapid rate mean future generations will adapt more smoothly to our changing environment; that we can worry less about our great grandchildren?

For certain, this will raise a lot of questions, and I look forward to more research. For now, make sure you have a thermometer at home, and don’t think you have cold blood if your temp is a little lower than expected.

Read: Why It is Important to Have a Working Thermometer

Facebook Twitter Google Digg Reddit LinkedIn Pinterest StumbleUpon Email

Author: Karen Latimer

Karen is a Family Physician, Wellness Coach, and founder of Tips From Town. She is passionate about sharing her medical expertise, her coaching techniques and her parenting experience to encourage happier and healthier lives.


Sign up for our email newsletter