Thursday, March 27, 2008

Why I should stay home today...

Yesterday, just as I was starting to feel the effects of an oncoming cold, my seminar had a lecture about behavioral responses to infections. Mice, lizards, and many other animals also feel tired, antisocial, and lose their appetites. I knew this, having worked with wild animals, but I didn't know that If you somehow override their desire to rest and eat less, mortality rates skyrocket. Also, if you suppress fever, it increases the duration of the infection.

The fasting aspect is particularly interesting given recent studies that show that intermittent fasting has many benefits, similar to those of more torturous daily calorie-restriction regimes. I guess the moral is: follow your instincts, since they have hundreds of thousands of years of evolution behind them. That means letting mild fevers burn and not buying into the whole 3-meals-a-day if you don't feel like it.

Unfortunately, I feel too lethargic to look up actually journal articles.

1 comment:

Psipsina said...

Melissa - thanks for stopping by my Migraineur blog. It looks your blog has lots of neat stuff!