• Cooler extremities slow metabolism

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Cooler extremities slow metabolism

Dec 16 2011

Scientists have found that by cooling extremities, mammals can slow down their metabolism.

In a study of red deer by the group of Walter Arnold at the Research Institute of Wildlife Ecology, University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna, the team sought to discover whether cooler temperature and lower metabolism were a cause of eating less or self-inducing.

Published in the Journal of Experimental Biology, the scientists found through quantitative analysis and a controlled environment that the amount of food red deer ingested had nothing to do with a lowered metabolism.

The results showed that red deer were able to cool their extremities, especially during cold winter nights, with this resulting in a reduction in metabolism.

A significantly lower temperature in the extremities only translated as a minor reduction in core heat.

"It seems as though peripheral cooling might be an important mechanism for red deer – and maybe other large mammals – to conserve energy during winter and when food is scarce," said Mr Arnold.

Posted by Neil Clark

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