Laugh For Long Life

Lee Berk. Source: Loma Linda Univ.

Lee Berk. Source: Loma Linda Univ.

Anyone who has seen Albert Nerenberg’s film Laughology knows that there are health benefits to laughing as much and as often as possible. Further scientific proof of the merits of Laughter Yoga, Laughtercize and just plain old laughing is reported by Discover Magazine:

Researchers have long known that laughter boosts the immune system, lowers cholesterol and blood pressure, and reduces stress. In a preliminary new study, psychoneuro-immunologist Lee Berk and his team at Loma Linda University in California show that the parallels between laughing and exercise go even further: Shifts in appetite hormones following a case of the giggles resemble the effects of a moderate session at the gym.

Berk measured blood levels of ghrelin, a hunger-regulating hormone, before and after 14 study participants watched 20 minutes of humorous TV (selected from a menu including Saturday Night Live, Bill Cosby’s stand-up, and Seinfeld). He then compared the data with hormone levels recorded before and after the test subjects watched the distressing opening battle scenes of Saving Private Ryan. Regardless of the order in which they saw the clips, people’s ghrelin concentrations spiked after the funny session, “just like after a workout,” Berk says…

[continues at Discover Magazine]


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