TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (CBS) – The more ink you get, the more your ability to fight off the common cold improves, according to a new study.

University of Alabama researchers have found that while getting just one tattoo can temporarily make you more vulnerable to illness, adding additional tattoos should only help.

The study’s authors compare the body’s response to tattooing to a trip to the gym for an out-of-shape person. The first workout might make you sore, but that will quickly fade upon repeating the exercises.

“After the stress response, your body returns to an equilibrium,” anthropology professor Christopher Lynn said. “However, if you continue to stress your body over and over again, instead of returning to the same set point, it adjusts its internal set points and moves higher.”

The team worked with local tattoo parlors and took saliva samples from customers. They discovered that despite the initial stress on the immune system from the first tattoo, the immune response strengthened following further body art.

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