As you all know, tattoos can do a body good, and now science agrees! According to a study published in the American Journal of Human Biology, people with multiple tattoos have stronger immune responses and are better equipped to fight off common infections.
Researchers began their work by taking saliva samples from five male participants and 24 female participants prior to and following tattoo sessions. When analyzing the samples they specifically looked for immunoglobulin A, an antibody that helps fight off infections, and cortisol, a stress hormone.
The study found that people who were getting their first tattoo experienced higher levels of cortisol and lower levels of immunoglobulin A because of the heightened stress response. Interestingly though, those who already had a few tattoos experienced a spike in immunoglobulin A, meaning their immune system was stronger for it.
The study’s author, Christopher Lynn, Ph.D. and professor at the University of Alabama, compares getting tattoos to the process of getting in shape. Think of the first few days after starting a new workout routine. You might spend a day or two really sore, but as you continue exercising, the soreness and pain eventually eases until you’re stronger than you were before you started exercising. Lynn and his colleagues found the same was true of people with many tattoos.
“After the stress response, your body returns to an equilibrium,” Lynn says. “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.”
Come in to Black Line Studio and get that tattoo you’ve been dreaming about. Clearly, your body will love you for it!
Sources: Lynn, C. D., Dominguez, J. T. and Decaro, J. A. (2016), Tattooing to “Toughen up”: Tattoo experience and secretory immunoglobulin A. Am. J. Hum. Biol.. doi: 10.1002/ajhb.22847, http://uanews.ua.edu/2016/03/want-to-avoid-a-cold-try-a-tattoo-or-twenty-says-ua-researcher/