The following is a summary of the landmark study, “The Effects of Cold Exposure Training and a Breathing Exercise on the Inflammatory Response in Humans” by Jelle Zwaag, MD, Rick Naaktgeboren, MD, Antonius E. van Herwaarden, PhD, Peter Pickkers, MD, PhD, and Matthijs Kox, PhD
Chronic inflammation is well known to contribute to various diseases and lead to a diminished quality of life in millions around the world. Cold exposure, in the form of using an ice bath or cold plunge, has been shown in recent years to have positive effects on the human body, but direct impact on the inflammatory response have not been well studied to date. In this pilot study, the authors aimed to examine the effects of deliberate cold exposure and a breathing exercise on the inflammatory response in healthy individuals.
How was the study conducted?
The study involved 20 healthy adult participants, randomly divided into two groups. Group 1 underwent cold exposure training, which involved submerging in an ice bath 2 minutes per day for a total of 6 weeks. Group 2 underwent a breathing exercise, which involved breathing techniques and visualization exercises for 20 minutes per day for a total of 6 weeks. Blood samples were collected from all participants before and after the intervention period to measure levels of cytokines, which are signaling molecules involved in the inflammatory response.
Incredibly, the study showed that both the cold exposure training and the breathing exercise had a significant and undisputed effect on the inflammatory response of participants. The “ice bath” group showed a significant decrease in cytokine levels, indicating a reduction in the inflammatory response. The breathing exercise group also showed a significant decrease in cytokine levels, although the effect was not as pronounced as that observed in the cold exposure training group.
What does this mean?The results of this landmark study into the effects of cold therapy, ice baths and cold plunges are staggering. They suggest that both deliberate cold exposure and a training in breathing exercises can have a positive effect on the inflammatory response in healthy humans.
It is important to note, however, that pilot study was undergone with a small sample size. While more research is needed to confirm these findings, the results suggest that cold exposure training via ice baths and cold plunges, as well as breathing exercises may have potential benefits for reducing the risk of chronic diseases associated with chronic inflammation.
Start a life changing practice today with a VITALICE ice bath