Scientists have found maintaining a warmer body temperature staves off the cold virus in more ways than one.
Mothers everywhere will enjoy the results of a new study that proves wrapping up warm does help prevent us from catching colds and flu. Previous thoughts from scientists and doctors have always claimed catching viruses is more common in the winter and spreads due to more people in warm stuffy rooms, however, mother was right all along.
The research carried out by scientists at Yale University, showed body temperature has a direct affect on the immune system and how it responds to the cold and flu virus.
The team led by Professor Akiko Iwasaki examined human airway cells that produce immune system proteins called interferons which react to the cold virus. In laboratory conditions, the human airway cells were infected with the cold virus and kept at 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit and 91.4 degrees Fahrenheit.
Using a mathematical model, what the researchers found was that in the cells that were kept at a lower body temperature, the virus replicated at a faster rate whereas warmer body temperatures caused the virus to die off faster and was unable to replicate.
In addition to this, an enzyme called RNAseL – responsible for attacking and destroying viral genes – also worked harder at higher temperatures.
Not only does this mean we should listen to the advice to wrap up warm in the winter months, but scientists can use this research to find new methods and strategies to develop treatments for fighting the common cold and flu virus in the future. This could be better news for those with asthma – colds are common for all of us, but those with asthma suffer more as the virus can trigger symptoms more easily.
The study and its results were published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.