Is laughter the best heart medicine?

happy young woman

Laughing. We all do it. Some of us do it more than others, some of us do it all too often. But are these often laughers just another type of health junkie?

Research on the topic is limited, but some studies have shown us that people who are often angry and uptight tend to have more heart disease than those who are more laid back and take time to enjoy life.

A study by the University of Maryland Medical Centre took two groups of people. They had one group watch parts of the movie “Saving Private Ryan” and the other group got to watch parts of a comedy – “Something About Mary”. The researchers studied the blood vessels in these subjects. The Saving Private Ryan watchers had their blood vessels constrict and blood flow decreased while those watching Something About Mary had dilation of their blood vessels and increased circulation to their organs – which is a good thing.

Research has also shown laughter to decrease stress hormone levels, increase good cholesterol (HDL) and reduce artery inflammation – the main driver of coronary artery disease. Furthermore research has shown that these good effects from laughter can last for up to 24 hours. So it seems that daily laugher should replace the apple to keep the doctor (cardiologist) away.

So here’s today’s joke to start your daily laugh:

My dad encouraged me to register for an organ donation card – he’s a man after my own heart” – Masai Graham