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Laughter to Help Blood Flow?

separator Researchers have found evidence that laughter may provide some of the same benefits as exercise. They saw that blood vessels relaxed and blood flowed more smoothly after 20 volunteers watched 15 minutes of a funny movie (Kingpin). The same group watched a serious, often disturbing movie (Saving Private Ryan). Fourteen of those individuals experienced restricted blood flow. The changes lasted for up to 45 minutes after the volunteers watched both movies.

The increase in blood flow is beneficial to the endothelium, which comprises the tissues that line the walls of blood vessel and regulate blood flow. Problems with the endothelium have been linked to hardening of the arteries, which increases the risk of heart attack.

The study was small, but it indicates that it’s possible that we all could benefit from making sure that we find time for laughter in our daily lives. Findings from the study were presented at a conference of the American College of Cardiology in March.

The Sun, 11 March 2005
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