Articles and Publications

Forget 98.6 Degrees. Our Bodies are Cooling Off

In a recent posting from Healthline, an interesting article appeared that describes how our body temperatures have been declining over the past 150 years. The article quoted Dr. Julie Parsonnet, a professor of medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine as saying “What everybody grew up learning, which is that our normal temperature is 98.6, is wrong.” The article further states that average temperatures are near 97.7 degrees and not 98.6. The body temperature of men born in the 2000s is 1.06°F degrees lower, on average, than men born in the early 1800s. Women have temps about 0.58°F lower than those born in the 1890s. That means body temperatures declined 0.05°F every decade. Body temperature is complicated, Parsonnet says, it can vary not just from person to person but at different times of day and at different ages . It can be almost half a degree higher in the afternoon than morning.

The article lastly states some of the reasons for the decline in temperatures as per Dr Parsonnet. She states that we have “much less” inflammation in our bodies that we did in the past, and we’re also using less energy and have a lower metabolic rate than in the past. She further states “We have less inflammation because we have far fewer chronic infectious diseases like tuberculosis and periodontal disease, far less recurrent infection, shifts in our micro biomes, and we also have learned how to combat inflammation directly through better diets, and also with things like non-steroidal drugs and statins,”


Skip to content