How does cold exposure affect health?

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Offline Oleg

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How does cold exposure affect health?
« on: 04/06/2009 11:30:01 »
Oleg V. Zhylin  asked the Naked Scientists:
Hi folks,

  I like the show, and listen to it regularly and even trying to catch up the past ones. Thanks for your efforts.

Regarding the relation of cold and colds, I have a gut-feeling that you've understated the impact of cold on our body. Is mucus membranes effect really the only reason why we are susceptible to pathogens? As people are capable of freezing to death less-then lethal cold exposure can be not just healthy but dangerous too.

Why don't you elaborate a little bit more in the direction of how cold impacts our bodies, in both positive and negative senses.

WBR Oleg V. Zhylin

What do you think?


Offline Atomic-S

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How does cold exposure affect health?
« Reply #1 on: 20/06/2009 07:44:35 »
Cold stressed the body, especially if the body has not had a chance to adapt recently. If the body is already in a marginal state due to poor nutrition, assault from microorganisms, etc., the chill might be enough to let disease take hold. Cold may contribute to disease indirectly also, by forcing people to function in closer proximity, or by culturally triggering activities involving close contact, or by culturally inducing the adaptation of unhealthy habits such as the overconsumption of sugar-laden seasonal foods which provide breeding grounds for germs.