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. 1986 Nov;61(5):1656-60.
doi: 10.1152/jappl.1986.61.5.1656.

Longevity of Cold-Exposed Rats: A Reevaluation of the "Rate-Of-Living Theory"

Longevity of Cold-Exposed Rats: A Reevaluation of the "Rate-Of-Living Theory"

J O Holloszy et al. J Appl Physiol (1985). .

Abstract

It has been postulated that increased energy expenditure results in shortened survival. To test this "rate-of-living theory" we examined the effect of raising energy expenditure by means of cold exposure on the longevity of rats. Male 6-mo-old SPF Long-Evans rats were gradually accustomed to immersion in cool water (23 degrees C). After 3 mo they were standing in the cool water for 4 h/day, 5 days/wk. They were maintained on this program until age 32 mo. The cold exposure resulted in a 44% increase in food intake (P less than 0.001). Despite their greater food intake, the cold-exposed rats' body weights were significantly lower than those of control animals from age 11 to 32 mo. The average age at death of the cold-exposed rats was 968 +/- 141 days compared with 923 +/- 159 days for the controls. The cold exposure appeared to protect against neoplasia, particularly sarcomas; only 24% of the necropsied cold-exposed rats had malignancies compared with 57% for the controls. The results of this study provide no support for the concept that increased energy expenditure decreases longevity.

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