Cold showers, ice baths, cold exercise and lower temperatures have been said to improve health by aiding weight loss, improving immune system and even increasing the healthy lifespan. Cold exposure is popularized by people like Wim Hof and David Sinclair.
Are these claims back by science?
Science of self improvement.
– Roundworms, also known as nematodes, live longer in colder temperatures. This is because cold air acts as a trigger for a gene receptor — TRPA-1 — that, once triggered, sets off a chain of reactions that culminates in the activation of a gene known to be tied to longevity. The active ingredient in wasabi and mustard oil acts as a trigger for human TRPA1 as well.
– In Drosophila and rotifers, short-term exposures to low temperature lead to a non-proportional, long-term increase in longevity and stress resistance
– Results indicate that acute cold exposure has immunostimulating effects and that, with thermal clamping, pretreatment with physical exercise can enhance this response.
– Animal studies have demonstrated that cold exposure induces changes in both cellular and humoral aspects of immune function, including a reduction in natural killer cell count and cytolytic activity , a decrease in lymphocyte proliferation, and (after several days of cold exposure) an enhanced production of proinflammatory cytokines. Studies involving human subjects have demonstrated an increase in NK cell activity in response to local or generalized cold exposure