Fire up your immune system! The Benefits of Cold (Part 2)

This post could also be titled: “Don’t let your Mama tell you ‘Put on your coat, or you’ll catch your death of cold out there!'” As you’ll see, there have been studies done that debunk this popular misconception. In fact, cold exposure stimulates improvement of the immune system. The cold does not make you sick!

The Research

Contrary to popular opinion and overprotective mothers throughout the world, getting cold does not make you sick, and doesn’t even make it more likely that you will get sick. In fact, one study found quite the opposite.

The fall in core body temperature resulting from cold exposure led to a consistent and statistically significant mobilization of circulating cells, an increase in NK cell activity, and elevations in circulating IL-6 concentrations.

So, you wonder, why are increased NK cells and elevated IL-6 concentrations important?  Naural Killer cells, more commonly known as NK cells, provide rapid response to viruses and tumor formation. IL-6 is also an important part of immune system function that’s been found to cause a protective immune response.

Another study concluded that, in addition to an increased metabolic rate (see my “Benefits of Cold Part 1“), continued and repeated cold water immersions increased immune system function. That means they found pretty much the same thing as the first study I mentioned.

In other words, there are enhancements that occur in our body that makes our immune system able to fight our the things that attack our bodies more effectively… and all of these enhancement from cold exposure. Cool huh?

Anecdotal Evidence

There is also anecdotal evidence that gives credence to these immunostimulating effects of cold exposure.

The often controversial Dr. Jack Kruse completed an astounding bio-hack on January  9, 2012. At the Nashville TEDx conference on March 31, 2012, he apprised the world of his extraordinary self-experiment. Dr. Kruse underwent an invasive elective surgery, but prior to undergoing this surgery he both injected and rubbed himself down with MRSA. MRSA, which causes thousands of deaths a year, is a bacteria which causes an infection resistant to many common antibiotics.

After his surgery, Dr. Kruse buried himself in ice and never had any complications from infections after his surgery.

Another example comes from Wim Hof, aka “the Ice Man.” Hof injected himself with an endotoxin via an IV line. Endotoxins usually produce flu-like symptoms, but the Ice Man did not get sick.

Dr. Kruse’s also has a blog post where he explains the physical advantages acquired by the Sherpa, a group of people living high in the bitter cold Himalayas.

NASA was formed and they found out about cold thermogenesis in the most improbable of places where it was cold, high, and closer to space. They met the Sherpa’s of Mount Everest. NASA astronauts were sent to train with Sherpa’s and Sherpa’s were studied by our scientists to see what “magic powers” they had that our astronauts needed for spacewalks in its extreme cold. They learned quickly that cold is a game changer for human physiology. It created a super human physiology…  One who had super human immunity and super fecundity.

If you’d like to know more about the in’s and out’s of the science behind this, I’d highly recommend reading Dr. Kruse’s “Cold Thermogenesis Part 6” post.

Furthermore, Dr. Kruse has been prescribing cold therapy to his operative patients and seeing what can be explained as almost miraculous recoveries. Check out this video testimony from Lonnie, the first patient (other than himself) that Dr. Kruse tested the healing effects of the cold on. The cold helped Lonnie, whom Dr. Kruse had formerly claimed was not a good candidate for an operation, recover from a major spinal reconstruction surgery.

Concluding Remarks

Not only does the cold cause supercharged weight loss, it also ramps up our immune system. There is still more to come. Stay tuned for Part 3 of the series.

Say it with me again my friends, “The cold does not make me sick! The cold is my friend!”

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6 thoughts on “Fire up your immune system! The Benefits of Cold (Part 2)

  1. Great post Trisha!

    I have been taking cold showers for a while now. I must say that after a cold shower I warm up very nicely whereas after a hot shower I am cold. I know it sound backwards but it’s true for me. So at night if i want to warm up I take a cold shower and stay in there for 5 to 10 minutes. When I get out my body is nice and warm. I first got my inspiration to try it via this blog (http://gettingstronger.org/2010/03/cold-showers/).

    I also find that my skin doesn’t dry out in the winter when I take cold showers. In fact some of my eczema is markedly improved since I started.

    Good luck with it!

    • That’s awesome to hear it’s helped your dry skin. How long did that take? Mine has gotten horrific since starting, but I’m trusting the process. Hope to see some improvement in mine soon!

  2. Pingback: Supercharged Weight Loss: The Benefits of Cold (Part 1) | Intoxicated on Life

  3. Pingback: Resources about Cold Adaptation | Intoxicated on Life

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