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Laughter really is good medicine

Got diabetes? Lighten up. Laughter could help you improve your cholesterol levels and lower your risk of heart attack. In a small study from Loma Linda University, 20 adults with type 2 diabetes were assigned to one of two groups. Both groups had high blood pressure and high cholesterol and were taking standard diabetes medications, high blood pressure medicines and cholesterol-lowering drugs. Half were asked to watch something they thought would make them laugh, such as sitcoms or funny movies, for at least 30 minutes a day. After a year, researchers measured both groups’ cholesterol and their C-reactive protein (CRP), an inflammation indicator linked to heart disease. The laughers had a 26 percent increase in “good” HDL cholesterol. The non-laughers only saw a 3 percent increase. Harmful CRP was lowered by 66 percent in the laughter group but by just 26 percent in the non-laughter group. It seems a little humor can lower bad chemicals and increase good chemicals. And that’s nothing to laugh at!