According to research conducted by Canadian scientists on fish, low-grade fever should not be treated with medications. According to the findings of specialists, animals that did not receive antipyretics recovered faster. ‘We let nature do its thing and in this case the consequences were positive,’ said the authors of the paper. Researchers’ findings have implications for humans.
Researchers at the University of Alberta, Canada, found that by leaving a mild fever untreated, the fish recovered from the infection faster and repaired the damaged tissue faster.
‘We let nature do its thing and in this case the consequences have been positive,’ said immunologist Daniel Barreda, the lead author of the paper.
Subfebrile condition is a phenomenon that the body can cause spontaneously, but also control without the support of medications. Science already knows the evidence that it can bring health benefits in humans. In addition, because the mechanisms that drive and maintain this state are similar in both humans and animals, researchers expect that both groups may reap similar benefits from it. Therefore, scientists suggest that at the first signs of a mild increase in body temperature, you should give up fever-reducing drugs.
“They take away the discomfort of fever, but probably also some of the benefits of this natural response,” says Berrada. He noted that the study sheds more light on the mechanisms that contribute to the benefits of low-grade fever, which has existed in the animal world for 550 million years. “Every animal has this biological response to infection,” he added.
In his analysis, Barreda focused on fish. They were infected with a bacterium, then watched them and, with the help of machine learning, evaluated their behavior. The animals showed similar symptoms of the developing disease as humans – they moved less and looked tired. Part of the group received antipyretics. Then the results of the observations were compared with important immune mechanisms in animals.
Studies have shown that the mild stage of fever is not only about providing a proper defense against infection, but also a way to control it. Animals that did not receive fever-reducing drugs recovered within seven days. The second group of fish that received the drugs stayed sick for twice as long. In addition, thanks to low-grade fever, the fish managed to stop inflammation and repair damaged tissue.
“Our goal is to determine how best to take advantage of our advances in medicine while continuing to exploit the benefits of natural immune mechanisms,” concluded Barreda.
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