Table of Contents

    Is Cold Tolerance Genetic?

    Do you struggle with cold temperatures or are you someone who adapts easily to colder climates? Recent research indicates that a connection between climate and genetic variations exists.

    This suggests that your DNA determines your ability to adjust to the cold. 

    It is possible that if you descended from people who lived in cold climates for centuries, your genes have most likely been affected by that.

    A team of researchers from the University of Chicago discovered that certain genetic variations that allowed humans to tolerate colder temperatures and climates might have also affected or caused a predisposition to metabolic syndrome.

    Metabolic syndrome can lead to obesity, high cholesterol, heart disease, and diabetes. 

    Does Tolerating Cold Come At A Price?

    Tolerating the cold may come with both some genetic benefits and disadvantages.

    Over 100 years ago, researchers learned that people in colder regions tended to be bulkier and have shorter arms and legs.

    They also identified a connection between cold climates and a higher body mass index, or measure of body fat, based on their heights and weights. 

    Recent research has shown that there is a connection between climate and different genetic variations.

    Some of these variations seem to influence the risk of metabolic syndrome. Most likely, these genetic variations significantly helped humans adapt and survive in colder climates.

    Whether or not some of these genes protect against the cold or increase disease risk depends on the specific gene.

    The Move From Warm To Cold Climates

    The earliest ancestors of humans lived in warmer, more humid climates. This required them to figure out ways to survive in the heat.

    As populations migrated out of warmer climates and into cooler ones in search of better conditions and more food, their bodily needs changed.

    As there was pressure to begin adapting to their new environments, these processes required the body to produce and retain heat. 

    As ancient populations migrated, their entire social structures and cultures changed as well. Even the food they ate evolved which affected the way fat was stored.

    Their activities, like hunting, were also impacted which had physiological effects. Every little detail is vital towards understanding how genes adapt and help us survive over time.

    As humans settled in colder climates, their bodies evolved and adapted to survive in those environments.

    This indicates that our genes say a lot about how we react to cold and ties us directly to our ancestors. 

    Cold Adaptation

    As humans settled in colder climates, many factors contributed to their genetic processes becoming more tolerant to cold over time. Researchers have pinpointed a specific version of a gene that stems from the leptin receptor.

    This gene, most common in those who live in cold climates, helps regulate appetite and energy balance. It also helps control the ability to use oxygen and release carbon dioxide.

    Your ability to adapt to colder temperatures is also tied to sweat, your skin pigmentation, heart strength, and even the proximity of your blood vessels to your skin.

    Over time, as ancient people settled in colder environments, their genes adjusted.

    The results? People who are more comfortable in a dry, humid climate over those who prefer snow and ice are likely to have a predisposition to those preferences. 

    Today's Cold Weather Climates

    In today’s world, people who are more tolerant of colder weather are often such because of ancient adaptation to colder climates.

    As early human populations moved around the world and migrated to new environments, their bodies and genes acclimated to the environment which helped them survive.

    Today, our adaptation to colder climates is changing. Because our food supply is now plentiful and stocked with fat, we are less likely to develop specific genetic variations to help us adjust.

    Central heat and modern technology also make it less likely to see genetic variations that could have developed over time. 

    Best DNA Testing Kits

    • Estimated 10 million users
    • Relatives feature
    • Health package
    visit site
    • In-House Lab
    • Industry Experts
    • Huge Database
    visit site
    • Family Trees
    • Immigration Records
    • Hire a Researcher
    visit site


    Do you prefer warmer climates or colder ones? Whatever your preference, you may be able to get some answers to where your preference originates from by taking a simple DNA test.

    Millions of people are taking advantage of simple DNA testing kits to learn more about their ethnicity and heritage. 

    Most DNA kits can be ordered online and delivered right to your home. A blood test is not even necessary as all you need is a sample of saliva or a quick cheek swab.

    The results will then be sent to your email inbox or home address. 

    Research the DNA company you want to use and see what information is provided with the results.

    Many companies offer possible migration patterns of your ancestors to understand how you got to where you are and how these movements contribute to your ancestry.

    Be sure to look at migration patterns through particularly cold climates to understand your genetic connection to cold weather.