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Sweating keeps you healthy!(4 posts)

Sweating keeps you healthy!bikedodger
Nov 5, 2001 3:07 PM
The article below says that sweating kills germs. Does this mean that after a long sweaty ride that I should not shower? Of course that would kill my social life.


NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - While some people spend a lifetime trying to hide the fact that they produce sweat, new study findings suggest that the bodily excretion may be a lifesaver. It seems that sweat contains a potent germ-fighting agent that may lend a hand in fighting off infections, according to a report released on Sunday.

What's more, German researchers have isolated the gene responsible for the compound. They report their findings in the advance online publication of the journal Nature Immunology for December.

Dr. Birgit Schittek of Eberhard-Karls University in Tubingen, Germany, and colleagues dubbed the gene--and the protein it produces--dermicidin.

``Dermicidin can probably limit an infection very early,'' Schittek told Reuters Health. ``Sweating is in this way a first line of defense against infectious agents,'' the researcher added.

It seems that dermicidin is manufactured in the body's sweat glands, secreted into the sweat and transported to the surface of the skin, the report indicates.

``This is the first antimicrobial (agent) found which is produced by cells in the human skin and which is permanently produced--this means that it provides a constant protection against invading microorganisms,'' Schittek said.

The investigators found that dermicidin was active against many different types of bacteria, including Escherichia coli and Enterococcus faecalis, which are normal inhabitants of the intestines that can infect wounds or contaminate food, as well as Staphylococcus aureus (a common cause of skin infections), and Candida albicans (a fungus that is another cause of infections).

The findings indicate ``that human sweat contains at least one antimicrobial protein, which may play a role in the regulation of human skin (microbes),'' the authors write.

Dermcidin ``may help limit infection by potential pathogens in the first few hours following bacterial colonization,'' they add.

SOURCE: Nature Immunology online 2001;10.1038/ni732.
re: Sweating keeps you healthy!Woof the dog
Nov 5, 2001 5:24 PM
you sweat and I guess you could call it "trap" bacteria and other crawlers on surface of your skin. Its a good idea to shower no matter whether there is dermicidin on/in your skin or not, since there seems to be always something that is adapted to resist your bodily defenses. Showering washes off anything and everything, its simply great. No?

re: Sweating keeps you healthy!Physiologist
Nov 6, 2001 9:44 AM
I agree with woof. Sweating may be good while you're doing it, but after you work out it traps all kinds of bacteria, which is why you stink when you get off the saddle. If you want to relish in your sweat a little longer, just stretch for a few minutes, and finish your water bottle when you are done with your ride. That way you can cool down and possible get all the good effects of sweat too. I'd still shower before going out on the town.
re: Sweating keeps you healthy!LC
Nov 6, 2001 10:22 AM
Your sweat also contains pheromones, that while women may not admit to it, they are attracted to it. The shower you take before hitting the town may be washing away your chances!