Mother Earth Living

Natural Health

Better living through nature

Add to My MSN

Unusual Health: Want to Stay Healthy? Look at a Sick Person

4/19/2010 3:37:11 PM

Tags: natural health, psychology, stay healthy, natural remedies, sick, white blood cells, unusual health

Whenever I see someone sick, my body tenses up and I try to breathe less. I doubt these actions are actually protecting me, but as I’m consciously trying to guard my body against illness, my survival instincts—and my body’s immune system—are kicking into gear. Mother Nature has many natural remedies to protect us from infections and disease, but it looks like the best one might be our bodies’ instincts—and the simple act of looking at a sick person.

Sick person
Want to avoid getting sick? A new study shows that just looking at a sick person can trigger your body to step up its immune defenses. Photo By Laura Taylor/Courtesy Flickr

psychology study at the University of British Columbia found that looking at sick people triggers our immune systems to release an infection-fighting substance called interleukin-6, or IL-6, which is produced by white blood cells. The more IL-6, the stronger our bodies work to fight off infection.

For the study, researchers showed a group of participants a slideshow of people coughing, sneezing and suffering from chicken pox. After viewing the images, the researchers took blood samples, exposed the blood to a bacterial infection and measured the amount of IL-6 in the blood. Participants who viewed images of sick people increased their production of the infection-fighting substance by 23 percent.

The researchers speculated that when we see people suffering from illness, our bodies perceive that we’re in danger of infection and step up their immune responses in return.



Related Content

Pathogen in Roundup Ready Soy and Corn Could Lead to Calamity, Scientist Warns

A scientists who has studied plant pathogens for more than 50 years warns that Roundup Ready crops c...

A Green Home: Use Empty Picture Frames for Organization

Got kitchen clutter? Turn a picture frame into a beautiful, useful storage solution.

Food Wise: Tips for Healthy Eating at the Restaurant

How to stay healthy when you eat at a restaurant four or more times per week.

Throwback Thursday: A Lookout Tower Home

A lookout tower home featuring reclaimed materials connects its homeowner with her past, present and...

Content Tools




Post a comment below.

 



Subscribe today and save 58%

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
Country:
Email:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Subscribe to Mother Earth Living!

Welcome to Mother Earth Living, the authority on green lifestyle and design. Each issue of Mother Earth Living features advice to create naturally healthy and nontoxic homes for yourself and your loved ones. With Mother Earth Living by your side, you’ll discover all the best and latest information you want on choosing natural remedies and practicing preventive medicine; cooking with a nutritious and whole-food focus; creating a nontoxic home; and gardening for food, wellness and enjoyment. Subscribe to Mother Earth Living today to get inspired on the art of living wisely and living well.

Save Money & a Few Trees!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You’ll save an additional $5 and get six issues of Mother Earth Living for just $14.95! (Offer valid only in the U.S.)

Or, choose Bill Me and pay just $19.95.