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'Normal' Body Temperature Is Lower Than You Think

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

decreasing body temperature

Story at-a-glance -

  • Average body temperatures have fallen since 1850 when the norm was established
  • The use of statins, ibuprofen and other medications may be related to the phenomenon, according to one physician
  • Results from one study showed that variations in body temperature "strongly predicted mortality"
  • Fever is a natural response to an external stimulus, such as infection, allergy or a reaction to a medication or vaccination
  • Researchers who conducted an animal study found that eating a ketogenic diet could reduce inflammation and improve the ability to withstand flu

Your body temperature is regulated by complex communication with your hypothalamus, vascular system and skin. It is a measure of how well you can make and release heat. The objective is to maintain your body at a consistent temperature to provide your organs, enzymes and hormones an optimal environment. When your body temperature rises (hyperthermia) or falls (hypothermia) it can be dangerous or life threatening.

On average, the temperature taken in your rectum or ear may be slightly higher than one that is taken across your forehead or under your arm. When taken in your mouth it will lie between one taken rectally and one under your arm.

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