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3 May 2017

Intermittent Cold Exposure & ‘Drifting’ Temperatures Could Help Tackle Type 2 Diabetes


In the UK, an estimated 4.5 million people live with diabetes, and of these cases the type-2 variant makes up approximately 90%. As such, findings methods of lessening the severity of the condition and helping sufferers to deal with the symptoms is of the utmost importance.

To this end, new research has revealed that ambient temperatures may have a more significant impact on the condition than previously thought, as the study, published in the journal Building Research & Information, has linked fluctuating exposure to mildly cold or warm environments with a boosted metabolism and insulin sensitivity. The researchers state that dropping the temperature by as little as 1°C could ease the symptoms of the condition as effectively as modern medication.

The study, conducted by researchers at Maastricht University, intermittently exposed patients with type-2 diabetes to cold temperatures, resulting in a 40% increase in insulin sensitivity after just 10 days. The researchers state that these findings are comparable to the best diabetes medications currently available.

They are now advising that in both homes and workplaces, people should make use of fluctuating building temperatures, alongside a healthy diet and regular exercise, in order to lessen the impact of such illnesses
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Study author Professor Wouter van Marken Lichtenbel said of the results, “It has previously been assumed that stable fixed indoor temperatures would satisfy comfort and health in most people.

“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.”

Richard Lorch, editor in chief of the journal, also commented, “This ground-breaking research provides a new approach to how we think about heating and cooling our buildings.

“The health benefits from a short exposure to a more varied temperature range will redefine our expectations on thermal comfort. In turn, this will change our practices for heating and cooling our buildings.”


Sam Bonson

Sam is an aspiring novelist with a passion for fantasy and crime thrillers. He is currently working as a content writer, journalist & editor in an attempt to expand his horizons.