Body Temperature Plays Greater Role than Metabolism in Lifespan, Study Shows





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The research was led by scientists from the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Shenzhen Institute of Advanced Technology (SIAT). Other researchers from Wenzhou University and the University of Aberdeen were also involved in the study.


The popular belief is that there is an inverse relationship between living fast and maximum lifespan. In a more general sense, living fast is linked to risky lifestyle choices that often lead to premature deaths.

The cause of a shorter lifespan in the biological sense is different from the regular perspective. “Live fast, die young” has more to do with metabolism. Scientists have observed that animals having elevated metabolic rates are more like to die quicker than those with low rates.

It is, however, not very clear how metabolism affects lifespan in some species. For instance, exercise is one of those things that are believed to promote longevity, but it is known to ramp up metabolism.


There is a link between body temperature and metabolism. Low body temperatures usually go with low metabolic rates. This trend has made it hard to clearly figure out how metabolism impacts lifespan.

Caloric restriction and some other interventions that lead to lower metabolic rates seem to increase lifespan, based on research. However, it was not clear whether it was low metabolic rates or the associated lower body temperatures that prolonged lifespans in mice on caloric restriction.



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The team observed shortened lifespans in mice and hamsters after exposing them to high temperatures. Metabolism dropped while body temperatures went up at the peak of the thermoneutral zone.

“我们发现将啮齿动物暴露在这些条件下缩短了他们的寿命,”SIAT的教授John R. Speionman表示,他是一项研究合作作者。“较低的新陈代谢并没有延长他们的生命,但较高的温度缩短了它。”

When the animals’ body temperatures were lowered using small fans, their metabolism was not affected. But the effect of high temperature on lifespan was reserved.

The researchers said their findings suggest there may be a need to replace the saying “live fast, die young” with “live cold, die old.”







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