Researchers to study Minnesotans who swim in icy waters

Researchers plan to study a group of Minnesotans who dunk themselves in icy Lake Harriet every winter day.

The Star Tribune reports that researchers from Rockefeller University’s Cohen Laboratory of Molecular Metabolism are studying so-called brown fat that generates heat in cold conditions in humans.

They’re currently investigating blood biomarkers of brown fat in young New Yorkers using cooling vests. They hope to validate the study in a larger group of people.

Starting this summer they’ll collect blood from a group of 70 people who dip themselves in Lake Harriet at least twice a week for a month in winter. They hope to compare molecules in their blood during summer and winter as well as their responses to anxiety and depression.