Thursday, January 29, 2015

I Love A Little Vindication....

Since I have not been active on this blog in quite some time, I have been scrolling through some of my old posts and comments. While the overall reaction to my posts has been relatively positive, the post which caused the most dissension was, strangely enough, the one in which I bemoaned the fact that I was sick, probably in part due to my having slept in a very cold room that night. 

WHAT?! OMG what bullshit cold temperatures don't contribute to your cold development NO WAY.

Now granted, the explanation that I put forth as to why cold temperatures could contribute to the development of your infection was a hypothesis, unproven, and one of the many that was floating around. But why are there so many hypotheses around to begin with?

Because the correlation between cold temperatures and cold/flu infection has progressed further than confirmation bias. There are studies which show this correlation, and although this does not demonstrate the cause, it is still something that warrants further investigation. If the numerous studies showed no correlation between the two we could dismiss this as a case of confirmation bias, end of story.

So, thanks to this correlation science has gone one step further, and looked for that causation factor. While the "stress reduces immune system efficacy" hypothesis which I spoke about in the previous post was touched on in the 1990s, new studies float a very different yet still excellent explanation of why this correlation exists.

There is now new evidence which suggests that the rhinovirus replicates better in your nasal passages when they are at lower temperatures - which happens when you are breathing in cold air for an extended period of time.

Yes, this study was conducted in mice, and more research is needed on this topic, but the evidence now is mounting that there is at least something that cold temperatures contribute to the progression of the illness. To dismiss the entire idea as bullshit is to ignore evidence.

I love me a little bit of vindication!

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