New research has found that getting multiple tattoos boosts the immune system and helps fight off various infections including the common cold.
Your parents do not like all the weird tattoos on your body and keep on criticizing you. Cheer up! Now, you can give them a solid reason for getting inked.
New research has found that tattoos can offer a surprising health benefit. Having multiple tattoos can boost your immune system and help you fight off various common infections including a cold.
Researchers from Alabama University suggest that people feel low resistance when they get a tattoo for the first time but as they receive multiple tattoos; their immune system starts to get stronger and prevent them from getting sick.
Dr Christopher Lynn, professor of anthropology at UA explains the whole process in this way. “They don’t just hurt while you get the tattoo, but they can exhaust you. It’s easier to get sick. You can catch a cold because your defenses are lowered from the stress of getting a tattoo.”
“After the stress response, your body returns to an equilibrium. However, if you continue to stress your body over and over again, instead of returning to the same set point, it adjusts its internal set points and moves higher.”
The experience of getting tattoo is akin to something like exercising in the gym. Initially your body itches and muscles become sore but if you continue workout, soreness fades away gradually and you keep getting stronger.
For the study, researchers recruited 29 participants and asked them questions about the number of tattoos they have received and the time involved in the procedure. Samples of their salvia have also been collected before and after tattoo sessions. Researchers analyzed the samples and measured the levels of immunoglobulin A and cortisol.
Immunoglobulin A is an antibody that works like a shield against some of the common infections we encounter while cortisol is a hormone that is known for suppressing immune response.
Researchers found that those who received their first tattoo have a significantly decreased level of immunoglobulin A compared to those who received tattoos more frequently.
“Tattooing may stimulate the immune system in a manner similar to a vaccination to be less susceptible to be future pathogenic infiltration.” Study reads.
Getting tattoos is the latest fashion these days and many people tattoo themselves just to keep up to the trend. Many previous studies focused on the drawbacks of having tattoos but the latest study is one of those which has highlighted the health benefits of getting inked permanently.
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The study involved a relatively small sample. Therefore, the outcome has its limitations and is not conclusive. Still it provides an exciting evidence of how well the body can respond to stresses over time.