We’ve all heard that lifestyle modifications such as eating better and exercise can improve our health, but Lee Berk, DrPH, MPH, director of the molecular research laboratory at Loma Linda University in Loma Linda, Calif. believes that laughter should be added to that list.

”The parallel between moderate exercise and mirthful laughter is uncanny,” Berk says.  Berk has found that ”mirthful laughter” reduces the stress hormones known as cortisol and catecholamines, much the same way that moderate physical exercise does. It’s also been found to enhance immune system functioning and may lower cholesterol and blood pressure.

Berk’s most recent study looks at the effect laughter pays on appetite.  Subjects had blood drawn to measure appetite regulating hormones before and after watching a funny film.  The study found that there was a decrease in certain hormones that suppress appetite after a subject laughed.

At first glance you might think to yourself, “I’m hungry enough, I’m never laughing again!”  From this research it is thought that laughter doesn’t increase appetite, but rather balance your appetite.  This information is likely to be used with the elderly who have very little appetite and who need to increase their food intake.

Link to the original article: WebMD

For you dose of laughter…