Image of a woman sitting on her couch with her winter hat on with a blanket around her.

Are humans colder now than they used to be?

Ever reached for a thermometer feeling under the weather, expecting to see that classic 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit (37 degrees Celsius) pop up, signaling "normal"? Well, it turns out "normal" might not be what we once thought.

Image of a doctor taking a persons temperature

THE ANSWER

Yes, we seem to be colder now.

The truth is, doctors have long recognized that body temperature isn't a one-size-fits-all deal. It fluctuates throughout the day, dips and peaks depending on your activity level, and even shifts with age.

Think of your body temperature as your internal weather report, giving you a heads-up on the body's goings-on.

Here's where it gets cool (pun intended): recent studies show that the average body temperature in Americans has dipped to about 97.5 F (36.4 C).

Yes, that's below the long-standing benchmark of 98.6 F, a figure we've stuck by since the German doc Carl Wunderlich set it in the 1800s.

This drop suggests our bodies are cooling off compared to our ancestors' fiery temps.

Image of a woman eating healthy foods after a workout

THE FOLLOW-UP

Why the chill?

Some scientists think better living conditions, like cleaner environments and advanced medical care, mean our bodies don't have to fight off infections as much, which can elevate temperature.

Researchers looked at the Tsimane people in Bolivia, who live more traditionally and have more frequent infections.

Even there, body temperatures have fallen, around 0.09 F (0.05 C) each year, landing at about 97.7 F (36.5 C) now.

This shift isn't just about fewer infections, hinting at other factors like improved health, quicker recovery times thanks to better healthcare, and our reliance on gadgets like air conditioning and heaters to keep our environments comfy.

What's behind this cooling trend is still up for debate, but one thing is clear: dropping body temperatures are not just a U.S. or U.K. phenomenon but a global one, seen even in remote areas. This trend could be signaling a shift in our overall health status, making body temperature a potential new metric for assessing public health, much like life expectancy.

Image of a woman outside cooling off.

Temperature regulation requires fuel.

7 Nutrients That Can Help You Keep Your Cool (And Warm)

By eliminating micronutrient deficiencies, you ensure your body operates as it should.

Unfortunately, avoiding micronutrient deficiencies is becoming increasingly challenging due to our environments and nutrient-void diets.

Below is a list of our top recommended supplements for aiding the body in achieving homeostasis of body temperature:

Natural Supplements That Help Support Healthy Body Temperature: