He convinced the world that cold baths stimulate immune cell production He suffered from asthma for 15 long years, until he started taking cold baths. Daily. His asthma disappeared in weeks. The vascular surgeon and fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons had grown up in Punjab with the century-old knowledge about the efficacy of cold baths. “As the body tries to warm itself during and after cold baths, metabolic rate accelerates, activating the immune system. The body releases more white blood cells, which are crucial for fighting germs,” says Dr Kakkar. The founder of Thrombosis Research Institute has contributed to major advances in thromboembolic research, a condition in which blood vessels get obstructed by blood clots in surgical patients. His method, using heparin, an anticoagulant, now saves 300,000 lives a year.