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New Year, New You, New Flu

Posted Jan 07 2009 2:55pm
Considering how many people who have New Year's resolutions to lose weight, there's something else they might lose: a super-healthy immune system. New research has found that dieters are less able to fight off the influenza virus. A news article from the BBC said that

The team at Michigan State University found even though the mice on the lower calorie diet received adequate amounts of vitamins and minerals, their bodies were still not able to produce the number of killer cells needed to fight an infection.

As well as being more likely to die from the virus, the mice - which were consuming around 40% of the calories given to their counterparts on a normal diet - took longer to recover, lost more weight and displayed other symptoms of poor health.

"Our research shows that having a body ready to fight a virus will lead to a faster recovery and less-severe effects than if it is calorically restricted," said study author Professor Elizabeth Gardner.

As fillyjonk over at Shapely Prose noted (h/t to her for posting the original BBC story), you don't get to chose where you restrict calories from. You can't just pick your arms or your ass- in fact, the needed calories are just as likely to come from your heart, your liver, or your immune system. Yes, your butt might shrink. And so might your brain. Your body ain't picky.

Dieting is starving your body. Period. And your body doesn't like that and can communicate it in the form of a decreased abilityto fight influenza. Payback's a bitch, huh?

Does anyone else find it interesting that this story wasn't plastered all over the internet like practically every other dieting story out there? I'm not surprised.
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