It has long been thought in bodybuilding circles that prolonged dieting for beach season comes with the feeling of being run-down, and being more susceptible to illness and sickness. In fact, a lot of people ramp up their intake of vitamins and anti-oxidants during this time as they firmly believe that their immune system is vulnerable. Some new research coming out of Australia is suggesting that not only is this not the case, it may in fact be the opposite of what actually happens. Yes, it may actually get stronger.
I say this *may* help strengthen the immune system because the study I am referencing in this update is done on obese people who have lost a modest amount of weight, showing immunity improvements. This is quite a far cry from someone already quite lean (sub-15%) and healthy aiming to get incredibly lean (sub-10%) to look good in Speedos. However, the immune systems of the life extension folks who practice calorie restriction (CR) suggest it may be the case for bodybuilders like us. These folks stay on very low calories for long periods of time without refeeding days as they believe it prolongs life and delays aging. The effect of CR retarding aging has been proven in worms, but human studies are on-going to my knowledge with nothing tangible as of yet. But not only do these folks believe it works, they believe it helps with avoiding sickness, and I recall reading an article where one guy claims that CR has corrected his short-sightedness!