Why Scientists Want to Study this Group of Minnesotans
There's a group of Minnesotans who I would consider a little crazy and scientists want to study them. They're a group called the Submergents. Their name is a nod to what they do every day in the middle of winter.
The Submergents are people who head to Lake Harriet and submerge themselves in the freezing water. Every day. In the middle of winter. It's like doing the polar plunge every day! No thanks! But the Submergents claim that they've experienced great benefits from these cold-water dips and that's why researchers from Rockefeller University in New York want to study them.
It sounds like, based on FOX 9, that these researchers have been wanting to study the effects of daily cold-water dips but didn't have enough people to do the study on. Then a member of the Submergents found out about the study and told them about the group.
While members of the Submergents are interested to see the results of the study, they all already believe that these daily polar plunges have a positive effect on their health. One member, Tara Young, told FOX 9, "'I haven't had a cold in 2 years. My weight has stayed pretty stable'".
The research that will be done is to see "if the cold water immersion activates brown fat cells in adults which produce heat and burn calories in frigid temperatures." They'll take a blood draw from each participant in the summer, winter, and possibly spring and "look for biomarkers produced by brown fat cells." They expect the full study to be complete in 4 years.