Effects of Hot Deep Seawater Bathing on the Immune Cell Distribution in Peripheral Blood from Healthy Young Men

Baño de agua de mar caliente y sistema inmune (pdf)

Objectives: Deep seawater (DSW) utilization technology has been developed for the fields of medicine and health, among others. To clarify the health effects of DSW as compared with surface seawater (SSW) or tap water (TW), we investigated the changes of immune cell distribution of the peripheral blood, or subjective judgment scores, after hot water bathing.
Methods: Ten healthy young men were immersed for 10 min in DSW, SSW and TW heated to 42°C. Blood samples were collected before bathing, immediately after bathing and 60 min after bathing. Total and differential numbers of leucocytes and lymphocyte subsets (CD3, CD4, CD8, CD19, CD16, and CD56) were examined using an automated hematology analyzer and a flow cytometer, respectively. The subjective judgment scores were obtained by an oral comprehension test.
Results: Since the pre-bathing leukocyte count in the TW group was significantly different from those in the DSW and SSW groups, we excluded the findings of TW bathing from consideration. In hot DSW bathing, CD8-lymphocytes increased significantly immediately after bathing (p<0.05), in contrast to hot SSW bathing, in which no significant changes were detected in the lymphocyte subsets. Additionally, there were no significant changes between repeated measurements in the subjective judgment scores, though the score of thermal sensation in SSW bathing showed a significantly higher value immediately after bathing than before bathing (p<0.01).
Conclusions: Our findings suggest that increased CD8-lymphocytes in hot DSW bathing may improve human immune function as well as hot springs do, as compared with SSW bathing. Although hot DSW bathing may have the ability to change human immune cell distribution, well-designed studies are needed to clarify the health effects including not only DSW and SSW but also TW.