What if we told you tattoos had benefits outside of just, you know, looking really cool? A new study is suggesting that getting tatted up might actually boost your immune system, and we have a lot of questions.
The American Journal of Human Biology recently conducted a study in which they measured immune function in people with tattoos. They collected saliva from 24 women and 5 men aged between 18 and 47, before and after receiving tattoos.
They found that study participants who were just getting inked up for the first time showed declining levels of immunoglobulin A, which serves as a front-line defense against infections and viruses. However, people who already had multiple tattoos showed much healthier, steady immune systems.
“Tattooing may stimulate the immune system in a manner similar to a vaccination to be less susceptible to future pathogenic inﬁltration,” claimed the researchers conducting the study.
According to Christopher Lynn, an associate professor of anthropology at the University of Alabama, regularly getting tattoos can teach your body to endure higher stress levels, which could boost immune function.
We hope to see researchers conducting a larger study that would perhaps yield more telling results. In the mean time, it sounds like you just found your next excuse to go hit the tattoo parlor.