Posted by: Arkay | May 30, 2008

Laughter AS medicine

In honour of the passing of Harvey Korman,

brilliant comedic foil for a great many of the laughs I had growing up,

I give you some of the medicine of laughter (I especially like the last one):


Chuckling heartily pumps up the the expression of at least 14 genes that regulate natural killer-cell activity. These immunological assassins destroy tumors and cells besieged by viruses on contact. – Biomedical research

Laughter causes the inner lining of blood vessels to expand, increasing blood flow. Such vasodilation, also caused by aerobic activity, may be the result of a heaving diaphragm or the release of endorphins. – American College of Cardiology conference

Breast feeding mothers have even more reason to laugh. Watching a funny movie increases levels of the relaxing hormone melatonin in breast milk. And drinking the milk reduces allergic reactions in infants with atopic eczema. – The Journal of Psychosomatic Research
Some gentle ribbing could help save the kidneys of diabetics. Laughter increases their receptors for certain proteins that prevent cellular damage in diabetics. It also curbs the spikes in blood glucose after meals, either through muscle use or changes in neuroendocrine levels. – The Journal of Psychosomatic Research and Diabetes Care
Just the expectation of laughter can work wonders. Blood drawn form people right before they watched a comedy show showed a beta-endorphin increase of 27 percent and a human growth hormone boost of 87 percent. Endorphins help the immune system, while HGH is good for muscles, bones and internal organs. – Experimental Biology conference
A contagious laugh promotes bonding, reduces stress, and spreads the wealth of laughter’s physical benefits. And we’re programmed to capitalize on it: Just hearing laughter activates neurons in the pre-motor cortex that prepares the face to smile. – The Journal of Neuroscience

So Smile and Laugh with me in honour of one of the very great funnymen.


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