The importance of 98.6°F as the human operating temperature

Thermal regulation vital for our internal health

Thermal regulation – registering and immediately correcting temperature deviations – is not a quirk of nature.We detect temperature deviations because such fluctuations are immensely important for the internal health of our organism: for the metabolism and energy balance, for detoxification and deacidification, for nutrient and oxygen supply and for our general mood. Body temperature plays a definitive and, at times, vital role for our organism. Our fever thermometers are calibrated to 0.1 degrees Fahrenheit in order to account for this circumstance. A few tenths of a degree can determine whether we are sick or healthy, tired or vital, weak or strong and even happy or depressed.

Every athlete knows about the importance of “warming up” prior to a competition or soccer game. The ritual of “working up a sweat” not only prevents injuries. Peak performances also become possible when the entire organism has been warmed.


At the Olympics, minor body temperature fluctuations can mean the difference between winning and losing, the gold medal or 10th place.

However, muscle strength and quickness are not the determining factors for body processes.The functionality of the inner organs depends on maintaining the proper operating temperature. Our mental acuity as well is activated and motivated by sufficient heat and thus by good circulation and nutrient supply. Or are you capable of fully utilizing your creative potential while you are waiting at the bus stop in the freezing cold? Do you feel more optimistic in spring while basking in the year’s first sunbeams? Or does your optimism rise when you are standing outside with cold and wet feet? Is burnout a body temperature problem? According to my experience, body temperature is not the sole cause, but certainly a contributing factor as consistently confirmed by temperature readings performed on my patients.Taking the temperature of people suffering from burnout or depression has reliably confirmed a correlation.

Time and again, temperature measurements have verified that phases of low body temperature coincide with subjectively experienced stronger phases of depression. People who had the lowest temperature readings in the morning also reported feeling low in the morning, which then improved over the course of the day. Other people find it easy to get up; they feel lowest in the later afternoon or evening, which coincided with the coldest body temperature readings during these time. Low moods weresignificantly alleviated through heat infusion with infrared mats.


Low body temperature creates loss in enzymatic activity


An image taken with the diagnosis system “Oberon” shows a lack of heat in the pancreas. The diagram on the left/down side: The red lines are not reaching the blue line (which is desired for optimum health), especially in regard to digestive juices and insulin production (2nd and 5th blue vertical line). Red represents heat and proper functionality, blue indicates material or organ tissue.

You may still recall an experiment from your chemistry class in highschool in which a chemical reaction between two liquids only occurred once a certain temperature had been reached – resulting in a loud bang or a change of colors. And, of course, everyone knows that noodles or potatoes only become edible when cooked in boiling water at 212° Fahrenheit. The food cannot be cooked properly if the water is not heated to this temperature. Certain enzymatic reactions only occur at very specific temperatures, and the same is true for our bodily processes.

Our metabolism is calibrated to 98.6° Fahrenheit. Even a drop of only 1.8° results in a loss of approx. 50% of enzymatic activity.This is only one of the severe consequences of low body temperature that negatively impacts our health. A person who has already “mismanaged” and strained the pancreas by consuming unhealthy foods will, as a consequence, produce an insufficient amount of digestive enzymes.This reduced supply is then halved again if the body temperature drops by only 1.8°. In such a state, decreased nutrient utilization and symptoms of deficiency are inevitable.These processes are often discounted as “signs of old age” or natural decline.However,the best “antiaging” method to prevent this kind of degradation is to maintain a natural body temperature of 98.6°F.


Excerpt from the book “Uwe Karstädt: 98.6° F – Ideal Body Temperature

Copyright 2014 |


About Uwe Karstaedt

The German naturopath lives and works in Munich since 1986 and has published many bestselling books on health and alternative medicine. He is an inspiring speaker with a fascinatingly broad range of in depth knowledge about the basic principles of healing on all levels.

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