Author Archives: Abigail Roe

Tattoos vs. Your Immune System

Tattoos are becoming more and more prevalent in today’s society. An article on The Huffington Post declares that tattoos have become extremely mainstream and more widely acceptable. Let’s be honest, if you think tattoos are socially unacceptable, you need to be pop cultured. Tattoos in my opinion have become a way of expressing yourself. It is a way of art. Now according to author and phD, Christopher Lynn, it is a way to strengthen your immune system as well.

A study in the American Journal of Human Biology concluded that getting tattoos can actually build up your immune system, helping it to fight against sickness. Notice that tattoos is plural. Getting one tattoo is not sufficient enough to correlate with this data. In actuality, getting one tattoo can break down your immune system instead of building it up. This happens due to the amount of stress released when getting a tattoo. And we all know that stress takes a toll on our wellness. Being “tatted” more than once is what does the trick.

babies_tattoos image source

This study broken down on Epoch Times, was conducted by Christopher Lynn, Johnna Dominguez (former UA graduate student), and Dr. Jason DeCaro (professor at UA). The group of volunteers being studied were 24 women and 5 men ranging between the ages of 18 to 47. They were then asked questions like, how many tattoos have they gotten? A confounding variable was the timespan in which these volunteers got their tattoos. The researchers were looking for the level of immunoglobulin A in each volunteer. Immunoglobulin A is an antibody in our immune system. To receive these levels, they took a sample of each volunteers saliva. The results found that people who got their first tattoo had a large decrease in immunoglobulin A levels. The opposite was found for people who were getting their second tattoo. For them getting another tattoo still had a slight decrease in immunoglobulin A, but the drop was not as significant compared to people who just got their first tattoo.

Why is this? Well, it is like when your body isn’t used to a different time zone. The longer you are submersed in the time zone, the more adaptive you will become to the changes. The stress you cultivate from getting a tattoo eventually finds an equilibrium. This stress equilibrium is always adapting as you keep getting tattoos. So who knew getting more than one tattoo had other effects on your body other than just making it look cool.

I do admit that this study is not very large, so their findings may not be as accurate as a larger study. Also they studied a lot more women than men. The study could have been more diverse gender wise. Confounding variables could have played a part in this study as well. How strong were the contestants immune systems before the tattooing? Were they dealing with stressful situations in their life at the time? All of these outside variables could play a role.

Given the statistics of this study and the credibility of the researchers, I am convinced that getting more than one tattoo can strengthen your immune system. I suppose this gives me another reason to convince my parents in letting me get a tattoo. I am a tattoo virgin now, but hopefully not for long. And once you get one, they say you can’t stop. Ending on that note, any suggestions for a good tattoo parlor in State College?

tattoo image source


Is Diet Soda Detrimental To Your Health?

Millions of Americans are facing health problems all over the country. The foods and drinks they are imbibing are impacting their overall well being immensely. One example of this is the consumption of diet soda. Most people are oblivious to what they are putting into their body while consuming this type of soft drink.

The ingredients found in diet soda are different from the ingredients found in regular soda. The ingredients found in regular Coke are composed of natural non synthesized sugars. For example, aspartame, Splenda, saccharin, and Nutrasweet are artificial sweeteners found in diet soft drinks. Consumers may think that artificial sweeteners are better for the body rather than pure sugar, but that’s not true. Here is a list of ingredients in a Diet Coke, which are similar to ingredients in all other diet sodas. Caramel color in diet soda is very harmful to the body. This color is obtained by melting corn with cane sugar. In this caramel coloring, there is 4-methylimidazol. Exposure to this toxin causes serious heath problems. An experimental study was performed by The National Toxicology Program, showing male and female mice that were exposed to 4-Methylimidazol for long durations of time were more likely to develop cancer of the lungs. Caramel color is the one similar ingredient that is found in both diet and regular Coke.

In another study conducted by Dr. Elinav of Weizmann Institute of Science’s Department  of Immunology, found that artificial sweeteners were the catalyst to glucose intolerance and metabolic disease. This was an experimental study performed on mice. One group of mice were given water with artificial sweeteners in it, and the other group of mice were given straight water. He was very thorough with the experiment, as he performed it a number of times with different sets of mice and different dosages of artificial sweeteners. The scientist looked deeper into the issue and found evidence that the problems could be cultivating in the gut microbiota (the place where our bacteria is stored in the digestive track). As the artificial sweeteners travel through the body’s system, they encounter many bacteria. Elinav took the microbiota from the mice who drank the artificially sweetened water, and put it in the mice who drank the clean water. These newly “infected” mice soon developed glucose intolerance as well. This proved that changes to the gut microbiota were responsible for metabolism alterations and an intolerance to glucose. Dr. Elinav then performed an experiment with artificial sweeteners on humans and found similar conclusions about the human microbiota. In conclusion to this study, he found that the majority of volunteers developed glucose intolerance.

A similar, but observational study, was performed, only now measuring diet soda and its correlation to metabolic syndrome and Type 2 Diabetes. Long story short, the correlation between consumption of diet soda and these two diseases were not in fact, due to causality. That did not mean that metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes were completely out of the picture when it came to consumption of diet soda. It all came down to the frequency in which a person drinks it. If diet soda is consumed everyday, then those people are more likely to develop metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes.

no-diet-soda image source

To make another point, if you ever see the word aspartame in the ingredients list, DON’T BUY THE PRODUCT. Aspartame is a synthetic sugar replacement. Metabolic acidosis is something that occurs when aspartame converts into formaldehyde, which is a preservative that dead bodies are retained in. Formaldehyde then turns into formic acid, a poison released by fire ants when they sting. All of these reactions take place once aspartame surmounts 86 degrees fahrenheit. So, if aspartame is an ingredient in diet soda, do you really want these chemical reactions happening inside your body?

Based on the conclusions of these studies, we can confirm that diet soda is deleterious to one’s health. The diet soft drink is a red flag indicating many health problems down the road for loyal consumers. There are proven studies that link certain health problems to consistent diet soda ingestion. People who enjoy diet soda should consider an alternative such as water, ice tea, or even regular soda. Diet soda is detrimental to your health, and consumption must be limited.


relax, just wax

This one is mainly for the ladies out there. If you’re anything like me, you know the blessing of facial waxing. It is vital for me to get my eyebrows and upper lip waxed every two weeks. It’s annoying but beauty hurts, right? When I get waxed I feel like a brand new person. Like a baby fresh out of the womb. Waxing. Saves. Lives.

Now, I’m not talking the normal wax your salon probably uses. The salon I went to for my waxing used to use normal wax. However, in the past two years, she has switched over to a different type of wax. In fact, it isn’t wax at all. It is called Nufree. Nufree is a substitute for wax and has been scientifically proven to be safer for your skin. This is due to the fact that Nufree only sticks to the hair. So when your salon rips that sucker off your brow, the only thing coming off is the hair. With normal wax, you are having not only your unwanted hair removed but your first layer of skin as well. Ouch. If you get waxed often, this is not the best thing for your skin. Your skin becomes sensitive and thin. Luckily Nufree is gentle and reduces redness after waxing. The composition of this substitute wax is all natural. No chemicals, no added preservatives.

But wait, there’s more! after you’re finished with the waxing, there is a soothing, antiseptic lotion that is put on the area affected. This lotion is called finipil. It is a protective agent for the hair follicle that cools the skin after being waxed. The reduction of swelling and redness of the skin is thanks to finipil lotion.

This new form of waxing is something you all need to try. If you’re a loyal wax customer and looking for a place, I recommend Looks Hair Design right here in downtown State College. They know what’s up because they’re one of the few who use Nufree and finipil. Now there is also thredding, but that’s a topic for another time. Until then, waxing saves lives, and Nufree is the game changer.


photo source


*sees face start to break out*…..*drinks 200 gallons of water*

It’s the morning of Bid Day. You wake up feeling refreshed, only to look in the mirror and see that you have two zits in the middle of your forehead. You say to yourself, “this cannot be happening; I can’t even right now!” So you do the best thing you can think of and start downing water bottle after water bottle. Okay, so we all know water is somewhat important to our daily lives. The benefits of hydration extend above and beyond what we can ever imagine. Is it possible that there is a correlation between drinking water and clear skin?

There are 78 organs in the human body, and the largest of them all is our skin (Organs of the Body). Everyone has different types of skin, such as oily, dry, or somewhere in between. When we drink water, our skin is the primary organ to first be affected. That is due to the fact that when we are dehydrated, our skin soaks up any moisture we drink like a sponge. When this occurs, the skin begins to be rejuvenated with moisture, and circulation improves. Another significant job the skin undertakes is removing toxins by sweating. The pH of your skin is offset by the toxins being flushed out, and if your skin is slightly dry from lack of moisture, then your pores will become clogged.

Thus, this concludes that there is a correlation between drinking water and clean skin. By drinking water, you are maintaining the balance of your pH. How much water should one drink though? If you are drinking half of your body weight in ounces, you are in the right ball park (Hearn). Staying hydrated is not the only way to prevent acne from invading your pores. Of course it all ties into sleep schedule, eating habits, and composition of your skin. BUT FIRST… before you freak out about your pores clogging up…


G’Day Mate!

Have you ever wondered what it was like to be a stranger? A person among a bunch of natives? Maybe you feel that now as you embark on your college journey, or prepare for life in the real world. While there are many scenarios of people adapting to a new culture or lifestyle, I have one that particularly sticks out.

A few years ago, I traveled to Australia, Fiji, and New Zealand as a Student Ambassador with People to People. This experience was one of a lifetime. I met so many young scholars and compassionate souls. In Australia, we played rugby, toured the Sydney Opera House, surfed at Bondi Beach, visited the Blue Mountains, rode the world’s steepest railway incline, and met aborigines. I also had the opportunity to eat kangaroo, barramundi, vegemite and other interesting cuisine. In Fiji we visited local tribes and villages. There we participated in a Kava Ceremony. We also visited a local school and participated in their daily routine. In New Zealand, I stayed with a homestay family and a farm stay family. I ate lamb for the first time. I toured the set of The Hobbit. I stayed the night with the Maori Tribe and participated in dance rituals with them. I even broke a board with my bare hand with an activity called Full On.

While this trip was life changing, I also had to adapt in many ways. So, what is the science behind adaptation? Well, according to John L. Gittleman from Encyclopedia Britannica, the process of adapting is chunked into three definitions. Basically, one can view adaptation physiologically, genetically, and biologically. An example of physiological adaptation on my trip would be adapting my sleeping schedule to the time changes and jet lag. I don’t believe a genetic adaptation can be applied to my trip. This is more commonly used in describing animals and their characteristics of genes. Biological adaptation is more so seen in humans or animals when they are in an environment suitable to their needs. For example, a baby joey is deemed to stay in their mothers pouch until survival on their own is attainable. This is a biological adaptation. They are initially housed in the pouch, their familiar environment.

Adapting to a new environment can be a struggle sometimes with many factors being added to the process. I was forced to adapt to the different types of food I ate, the time zone, and the culture of the countries I visited. However, adaptation is a beautiful thing. One can almost always adjust to its surroundings. Just think about it…life is made up of changes, and the only way to survive is to adapt.



Science Makes the World Go Round?

Hey everyone! My name is Abigail Roe and I am a freshman majoring in Communications (Broadcast/Journalism). I am taking this course quite frankly because I need to fulfill 3 more credits for my general science requirement. So why did I choose SC 200 and not another science course? Well, it was either this or entomology. While learning about bugs is not terrible, I would much rather prefer this class. I enjoy the critical thinking aspect of SC 200. The topics that we plan to cover intrigue me. This class gives a whole new meaning of the word science for me. By taking this course, I hope to gain a greater appreciation for science and how it influences our lives.

I am not planning to be a science major for many reasons. First off, I hate math. It’s hard to do science without touching on a little bit of math. Second of all, I hate math. In all seriousness though, science is just not my thing. My brain is not wired like that. I am more “right brain dominant.” Here is a short article expanding more on the two hemispheres of the brain and what each side stands for.

Below is a rare photo of me when I heard Andrew speak AND found out he was a TED Talk speaker…