Colder Climates Help You Live Longer

Medscape Staff

May 26, 2023

Moderately cold temperatures increase longevity and decrease susceptibility to age-related diseases, according to research conducted at the University of Cologne.

What to Know

  • Cold temperatures activate a cellular cleansing mechanism called proteasome that breaks down defective protein aggregations and helps prevent proteins from clumping together.

  • Gene-related diseases, such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and Huntington's disease, are characterized by the accumulation of harmful protein deposits.

  • Researchers exposed a nonvertebrate organism, the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, and human cells that had been cultivated to carry these disease genes to cold. The low temperatures actively removed protein clumps, stopping further buildup of protein clusters.

  • Even a moderate drop in temperature stimulates proteasome to activate its cell-cleansing activity, which has implications for aging and aging-associated diseases.

  • Aging is a risk factor for several neurodegenerative diseases involved in protein aggregation, including Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Huntington's, and ALS. Scientists believe that these results may be applied to other age-related neurodegenerative diseases.

This is a summary of the article, "Cold Temperature Extends Longevity and Prevents Disease-Related Protein Aggregation Through PA28γ-Induced Proteasomes," published in the journal Nature Aging on April 3, 2023. The full article can be found on

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