In this post, I wanted to discuss how exposure to extreme temperatures can help boost the immune system. Several years ago I began listening and reading about the benefits of the sauna. I will share with you some of the information that made me decide to save up and invest in a barrel sauna. Having the sauna at home (especially during COVID since access to public saunas is not happening) allows me to practice the protocols that studies show have numerous health benefits (immune system, longevity, respiratory, cardiovascular). The financial investment is substantial, but after learning the benefits of sauna (heat exposure) I decided I needed to look at as a long-term investment into our health.
I wonder if saying “a sauna a day keeps the doctor away” could be as valid as saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”? 🙂
Here are today’s take away points (see video below):
- Sauna promotes mild hyperthermia, which induces a wide array of beneficial physiological responses
- Reduce oxidative stress and inflammation
- Activate cellular defense systems – heat shock proteins (hsp). Heat shock proteins increased by ~50 percent after 30 minutes in a 163℉ (73℃) sauna in healthy young men and women. Once activated, heat shock proteins can remain so for up to 48 hours. When hsp70s are released from cells, they can stimulate innate immune responses. Increasing evidence suggests that certain heat shock proteins play a role in both innate and adaptive immunity.
- Sauna use also reduced the incidence of common colds in 25 participants who used the sauna one to two times per week for six months compared to 25 controls who did not.
- It’s noteworthy that it took three months before sauna use had a protective effect.
Rhonda Patrick (introduced in my first post about Vitamin D) has once again provided a wealth of information on her website.
Watch this 10 Minute video where she discusses how sauna use promotes changes in the immune system. Since most don’t have access to a home sauna, it is worth noting that she also briefly shares how a hot bath has been shown to increase heat shock protein levels (but I believe I read that it was an hour long hot bath…)
Enjoy the sauna rabbit hole!
A Note from Uncommon
Everything shared on this website is opinion. We are not doctors or lawyers and we don’t play them on the internet. As such, anything we write is (obviously) not a substitute for medical advice and you should get medical advice from a competent professional whenever needed.