These are the words that I have been yearning to hear for the longest time now – keep on eating! If my doctor told me to keep on eating, I’d keep seeing that doctor forever. Context is everything though – these words are quite real and applicable, but to specific circumstances.
I ran across an article on iVillage, which details the findings of a new study:
You may no longer need to remember whether it’s “starve a cold, feed a fever” or vice versa. New research suggests you should just eat.
A study of deer mice has found that reducing the amount of food the mice ate impaired their immune system. The findings are published in the May/June issue of Physiological and Biochemical Zoology.
The researchers found that decreasing the amount of food the mice ate by 30 percent significantly decreased the number of B cells in their systems. B cells produce antibodies and maintain immune memory, so an immune system lacking B cells must relearn how to fight infection and disease.
“A 30 percent restriction in food intake doesn’t affect body mass and only minimally reduces activity in deer mice, but it eliminates the long-term immune protection provided by antibodies,” study co-author Lynn Martin said in a prepared statement. “One wonders whether similar moderate food restriction has comparable immune effects in humans.”
As you can see, when we’re sick, we should not give in to the loss of appetite. When we’re healthy, we also should not really stop eating because of diets and other fitness regimens. Well, unless you want your immune system to suffer in the long term.