Monday, April 07, 2008

He who laughs first

So if I tell you I'm going to tell you a funny joke your immune response will be beneficial - right?

According to a presentation today the 121st Annual Meeting of the American Physiological Society in San Diego, California a good dose of comedy might be just what the doctor ordered.

Back in 2006, Berk and his colleagues found that merely anticipating laughter boosted the production of mood-elevating hormones called β-endorphins and the immunity-enhancing human growth hormone by 27% and 87%, respectively.

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Berk and his team report today at the 121st Annual Meeting of the American Physiological Society in San Diego, California, that levels of all three stress chemicals decreased before, during and after the men viewed their videos. Thirty minutes after the videos were watched, cortisol was down 67%, adrenaline was down 35%, and DOPAC was down 69%. But what really shocked the team was that cortisol, adrenaline and DOPAC decreased by 39%, 70%, and 38% respectively before anything funny was seen. “It would seem that merely having a merry heart in anticipation of the happy experience lowered stress levels... they dropped before videos were even watched” says Berk.

So you can stop reading boring blog entries and go do something worth laughing about. Have fun!

According to another abstract you should consider drinking some green tea while you do it:

Ingredient Found In Green Tea Significantly Inhibits Breast Cancer Growth In Female Mice – Green tea is high in the antioxidant EGCG (epigallocatechin-3- gallate) which helps prevent the body’s cells from becoming damaged and prematurely aged. Studies have suggested that the combination of green tea and EGCG may also be beneficial by providing protection against certain types of cancers, including breast cancer. A new study conducted by researchers at the University of Mississippi finds that consuming EGCG significantly inhibits breast tumor growth in female mice. These results bring us one step closer to better understanding the disease and potentially new and naturally occurring therapies.

1 comment:

Margaret said...

Hi LPC, I agree about laughing. Laughter also gives a boost to our natural killer cells, which is always a good thing. I have an entire section on my blog devoted to laughter and immunity, including some funny (I hope!) links and jokes.
Let's also not forget that EGCG has anti-MM activity (I am testing EGCG right now, as it happens). See: http://bloodjournal.hematologylibrary.org/cgi/content/abstract/108/8/2804
Interesting post. I am still waiting for your joke, though! ;-)
Margaret
Florence, Italy