The Importance of Our Core Body Temperature

 As a warm blooded mammal, or more correctly endothermal, something we share with birds, we maintain our core body temperature largely by utilising the heat generated from our internal bodily functions, our metabolism and our voluntary muscular movements.  Before moving on to discuss how this is achieved it might help the reader to thing about ourselves in comparison to other animals first.

 We're a funny looking thing when compared to most other animals, for a start we're virtually naked, our body hair has become residual, with a large clump on our heads, for most of us, and small amounts in our armpits and of course our pubic hair.  

Last Winter there were a group of us enjoying a walking weekend in the Lake District and we were waiting for the local bus out of Borrowdale valley, in the field next to us, as we waited all wrapped up in our layers, walking boots and hats, were a happy herd of sheep.  It was a cold crisp morning with snow on the ground and there had been a deep frost.  So much so that the sheep had frost on the backs of their woollen coats.  At first glance you might feel sorry for them having been out all night, but then reflect on why they still had un-melted frost on their coats, it was because their wool was so good at keeping the air next to their skin still and warm that their bodily heat loss was at an absolute minimum and they were in fact cosy and warm in that field, with plenty of food to stoke up their metabolism.  Their hooves act to both protect them from the cold hard ground and to insulate them as well.

So being endothermic and quite large we have found a successful niche for ourselves, but in creating modern civilisation and changing how we live our lives today, presents us with several quandaries.  On one hand we're living longer, yet if you ask your doctor I'm sure they'll agree that we're presenting with more chronic illness and other chronic conditions that make life difficult and in many cases miserable.  Why?

 Well we currently structure our society around banking led capitalism and the majority of our jobs are largely sedentary jobs, often for service type industries.  Therefore we move less than we would have done as nomadic hunters, we live in fixed locations, inside brick built houses.  This is important because dry centrally heating housing helps us maintain our core temperature and is in large part a major reason why we are living longer lives, along with regular access to clean water.

 On the downside our current diets, on mass, leave a lot to be desired, full of processed foods and way too much sugar.  We can become deficient in key vitamins and minerals.  We often lack access to a plentiful supply of negative ions.  Our lives indoors restrict access to negative ions and their positive effects, think mountains, waterfalls, beaches and forest environments.  This can impact the quality of our sleep and the restoration of our energy and wellbeing.  Plentiful negative ions allow the blood cells to dissociate, to be round, evenly shaped, while too many positive ions, common in indoor environments, leads to coagulation where the blood cells are clumped together and stacked like coins, this impairs efficient delivery of oxygen to our tissues and the resulting impairment of our overall health.

So looking at a bigger picture we need to understand that in order to maintain this crucial core temperature we need good interplay between the systems that make us function.  The two main systems are our nervous systems, of which our autonomic system is vital to our health.  This is often thought of as our sympathetic and parasympathetic systems, but we must also realise that this description doesn't include the enteric nervous system that lines our gut wall and is increasingly seen as a second brain.  All of this is overseen by our vagus nerve.  The sensory messages carried back to the brain make up 90% of the messages that it carries, and only 10% travels from the brain and down the vagus nerve.  The autonomic system is the commander of our organs and their function.  Alongside the nervous system we rely on our endocrine system, our hormones to define our gender and our function. 

 So the thyroid gland is crucial to regulating our core temperature through it's hormones, T4 and T3 which can speed up or slow down our metabolism.  They can also activate our brown fat for extra warmth.  Our adrenals and the use of cortisol, another key hormone is also crucial in this delicate interplay.  Today however most of our society is struggling with deficiency in a key mineral that directly impacts our ability to get warm and stay warm, that mineral is iodine.  According to tests and experts in this misunderstood area, up to 96% of our modern populations are struggling with iodine deficiency and therefore are at risk of subclinical thyroid function and might be experiencing difficulty maintaining their core temperature.

Finally the amethyst bio mats allow the user to support and reinforce their core temperature among other benefits and will find that regular consistent use will help in a multitude of ways.

Author: Jim Crawford

Many people tend to be amused at pictures of hairless dogs and cats without thinking about themselves.  We're also hairless and an upright bipedal ape, this adds up to some extraordinary evolutionary changes, many related to temperature regulation.  As we now live right across the planet in many very varied climates, having migrated from Africa, a generally warm environment. 

We choose to wear clothes, in fact in most climates we need to wear clothes, the only animal on the planet that artificially manufactures extra layers to keep ourselves warm.  How does this fit with humans being one of the most successful and dominant species to be alive?

Well our nakedness places us at one end of the temperature spectrum.  We are the champion animal at losing body heat, we can cool down really quickly, in fact without clothes and shelter we'd find ourselves in life threatening hypothermia at night when the sun goes down.  Think about the other end of this spectrum, the whales travelling and living in the huge oceans.  Water is the substance that removes heat most effectively, think about what it feels like to be wet and standing around.  The whales have adapted really thick layers of blubber, fat, to insulate themselves and maintain an internal temperature environment that needs to be the same or very similar to ours, around 37°c Their size helps as well, the bigger you are the larger your metabolism and the more heat you produce.  If you can retain most of this heat you'll stay warm.

So why are we naked?  Well it's been shown that this gives us an extraordinary ability to run very long distances and to keep going for a very long time without overheating.  We're slow in terms of sprinting, but we're the earth's most accomplished species at marathon running.  In fact we're now understood to be the only animal that killed it's prey by running, tracking and disturbing them until they collapsed from heat exhaustion.  A four legged grazing animal can only breathe once per stride because it's internal organs slosh backwards and forwards into it's diaphragm whilst running, this limits their breathing to once per stride and because breathing quickly is a good way to lose excess heat, four legged animals have to stop running before they can pant with their mouth open and their tongue lolling out.  Humans on the other hand can hyperventilate because gravity keeps our internal organs out of the way of our diaphragm, allowing us to lose heat through breathing while we run.  Additionally our naked skin has vast areas that can sweat freely.

If you overheat and your internal core temperature exceeds 41°C  then the proteins that you're made from will unfold from their three dimensional shapes and denature.  You'll die from general organ failure.  So humans can stay below this threshold whilst our prey would overheat without being able to rest, pant and recover.  Also note the difference between our optimal core temperature of 37°C and the upper limit of 41°C, this can be used by our body to create a fever and help us combat any infection.  As we'll see this deliberate rise in temperature helps our immune function and other biochemical pathways work more effectively.

So returning to the internal process of maintaining homoeostasis, a tightly controlled core temperature is vital.  The biochemical pathways that keep everything functioning well rely on enzymes, these are specialised proteins that in simplistic terms are equipped with either shears to snip off parts of other proteins or even the building blocks themselves the amino acids, or in effect a welding torch where they can join proteins and other molecules together.  Sometimes these enzymes are multifunctional as nature is very efficient.  To illustrate their function, we rely on digestive enzymes to break up our food into it's component parts, sugars, fatty acids and amino acids the building blocks of proteins, in order that we can digest them along with any vitamins and other important minerals.  Without enzymes it's estimated that it would take 50 years for a full meal to break down.  So these enzymes are designed to work optimally at around 37°C and will speed up slightly as our core temperature rises, some estimates say a degree celsius rises equates to a 10% rise in the catalyst rate of our enzymes.  On top of this our immune system enjoys better functioning at higher core temperatures.  The opposite is true and that if we are struggling to maintain our core temperature we will lower our immune function, and slow down our biochemical pathways.

Finally there is the passive pleasure of experiencing the feel of sunlight, and in this context of being warm, the infrared radiation that feels lovely on a warm Summer's day, sadly all too infrequent at this latitude.  Infrared has loads of benefits in that it penetrates our bodies easily and deeply, the radiation stimulates red blood cells to give off nitric oxide which in turn relaxes and dilates our blood vessels, improving our circulation.  It is also known to warm us up, but differently from the heat given off by a fire say.  It is a gentle warming that really supports human health, in fact all animal health.  In the testimonials it is telling how our pets gravitate towards our amethyst bio mats and stay velcroed to them.  

So to summarise our core body temperature is crucial to our health and well being, and actively we can help ourselves with regular exercise, in terms of our diets we need to be aware how important iodine is to our core temperature and our endocrine function in general.  A lovely book that is an easy and informative read is, The Iodine Crisis by Lynne Farrow, and iodine supplementation is easy to organise, Lugol's solutions suits the vast majority of people. 

Distributor Disclaimer:
This information is not intended to cure, diagnose or treat medical conditions, nor is it a substitute for the product User’s Guide. Please consult with a Physician before beginning this or any other new health care program. Any information with regard to personal testimonies about RichWay International’s products does not reflect or represent RichWay International’s product claims. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA.