A new study performed at the University of Alabama suggest that people who get inked more frequently have a stronger immune system. Compared to those who got their first tattoo or to those who do not own a tattoo, the possessors of multiple tats may be more resilient to the common cold.
A team of researchers from the University of Alabama managed to show that tattoos are not only cool, but they can help us keep the recurrent diseases at bay. Moreover, those who had the courage to get multiple tattoos are more protected against the flu or the common cold than people without tattoos or those who have only one tattoo.
The team of researchers said that every time someone gets a tattoo, the body gets tricked into coming up with an appropriate immune response. This means that the more tattoos you have, the better your immune system will respond towards pathogens found in the atmosphere.
Doctor Christopher Lynn, the lead scientist of the study, the trick lies in safety. Getting your first tattoo can, in fact, crank down your body’s immunological response. Moreover, the scientist argued that after the first ink session, the body’s left susceptible to infection and swelling.
But the more tattoos you get, the more resilient your body will be against roaming infection. As the scientist explained, after experiencing the first symptoms of inking, the body tries to reach an equilibrium.
This immunity-related equilibrium can be offset again when you decide to have a second tattoo. As this process happens, your body tries to figure out an appropriate counter-measure and boosts up the immune response.
Theoretically speaking, the more tats you get, the better you’ll be shielded from the common cold and other seasonal illnesses.
Well, this all sounds good on paper, how about in real life? To test out their assumptions, the team of scientists asked the help of 29 volunteers. All of the subjects had tattoos, and 9 of them had their first tattoo quite recently.
The test included taking saliva samples and assessing the levels of immunoglobulin A and cortisol. Immunoglobulin A is your garden-variety antibody that resides in your gastrointestinal track and you airways and cortisol is a hormone that controls the levels of stress.
For some time now, the scientists have observed that cortisol can suppress the immune response our body produces too much. After testing each saliva sample, the researchers found out that the first-timers had a decreased level of immunoglobulin A in comparison with those with multiple tattoos, who had a slighter higher level.
This means that those with multiple tattoos have a stronger immune system than those who just got their first tattoo.
Of course, the study is far from reflecting the truth, according to some of its critics. Doctor Sylvie Stacy, a physician, declared that the study had a small sample size to start with, and the results cannot be generalized to encompass a larger segment of the population.
As a medical professional, Doctor Stacy doesn’t recommend tattoos for the sake of immunity, cautioning all her patients who are thinking of getting one. The clinician also added that those who have a tattoo are susceptible to infection, possible scarring and psychologic effects.