Lee S. Berk, preventive care specialist and researcher at Loma Linda University's Schools of Allied Health (SAHP) and Medicine, and Stanley Tan have come up with the study.
They have been studying the human body's response to mirthful laughter and have found that laughter helps optimise many of the functions of various body systems. Berk and his colleagues were the first to establish that laughter helps optimise the hormones in the endocrine system, including decreasing the levels of cortisol and epinephrine which lead to stress reduction.
They have also shown that laughter has a positive effect on modulating components of the immune system, including increased production of antibodies and activation of the body's protective cells, including T-cells and especially Natural Killer cells' killing activity of tumour cells.
Their studies have shown that repetitious 'mirthful laughter,' which they call Laughercise, causes the body to respond in a way similar to moderate physical exercise, says a Loma Linda release.
Laughercise enhances your mood, decreases stress hormones, enhances immune activity, lowers bad cholesterol and systolic blood pressure, and raises good cholesterol (HDL). As Berk explains:
'We are finally starting to realise that our everyday behaviours and emotions are modulating our bodies in many ways.' His latest research expands the role of laughter even further. Berk along with Jerry Petrofsky at Loma Linda University presented their findings at the Experimental Biology conference in Anaheim, CA.