Laughter to Help Blood Flow?
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
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
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