Research on Fish Shows Waiting Before Reaching for Medicines May Be Good for Humans – ScienceDaily

New University of Alberta research suggests that it may be better to let a mild fever take its course rather than automatically reaching for medication.

The researchers found that untreated MF helped the fish quickly clear their bodies of infection, control inflammation and repair damaged tissue. says immunologist Daniel Barreda, lead author of the study and associate professor in the College of Agriculture, Life and Environmental Sciences and College of Science.

Mild fevers go away on their own, Pareda explains, which means the body can trigger them to shut down naturally without medication. The health benefits of a normal fever for humans have yet to be confirmed by research, but the researchers say that because the mechanisms that lead to and maintain fever are common to animals, it is reasonable to expect similar benefits to occur in humans.

This suggests we should resist reaching for over-the-counter fever medications, also known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, at the first signs of a mild temperature, he says. “It takes away the discomfort you feel with a fever, but it also potentially gives away some of the benefits of this natural response.”

The study helps shed light on the mechanisms that contribute to the benefits of mild fever, which Barreda notes has been preserved evolutionarily throughout the animal kingdom for 550 million years. “Every animal that has been examined has this biological response to infection.”

For the study, fish were infected with a bacterial infection and their behavior was tracked and evaluated using machine learning. External symptoms were similar to those seen in humans with a fever, including immobility, fatigue, and malaise. These important immune mechanisms were then matched within the animals.

The research shows that natural feverfew provides an integrative response that not only activates defenses against infection but also helps control it, and the researchers found that feverfew helped clear infection in fish in about seven days—half the time it took for those animals. Fever is not allowed to exercise. The fever also helped stop the inflammation and repair injured tissues.

“Our goal is to determine how best to take advantage of our medical advances while still harnessing the benefits from the natural mechanisms of immunity,” Bareda says.

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