Laughter may be good news for heart health, new study finds

Laughter may be good news for heart health, new study finds
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By Health Correspondent 

They say laughter is the best medicine.

Now it seems that laughing with loved ones or giggling at a joke not only boosts your mood but could be good for your heart too.

Professor Marco Saffi from Brazil and his team of researchers have been looking into the link between laughter and heart health.

Their study, presented at the European Society of Cardiology Congress in 2023, showed that people with coronary heart disease who regularly watched comedy shows had benefits to their heart and circulatory system compared to those who watched serious documentaries.

Researchers uncovered evidence that this simple laughing act may improve vascular function, reduce inflammation, and even enhance oxygen delivery to the heart.

The new study has found the impact on physical health, particularly cardiovascular health, is positive.

Laugher is good for you (photo via

It involved 26 adults with an average age of 64, all diagnosed with coronary artery disease. 

Over three months, one group watched comedy programs designed to induce laughter, while the other group viewed serious documentaries.

The results were remarkable. The laughter group exhibited a 10% improvement in heart oxygen pumping capacity and better arterial expansion. 

Perhaps most significantly, they also showed substantial reductions in inflammatory biomarkers, which are crucial indicators of heart attack or stroke risk.

"When patients with coronary artery disease arrive at the hospital, they have a lot of inflammatory biomarkers," explained Prof. Saffi. 

“Inflammation is a huge part of the process of atherosclerosis, when plaque builds up in the arteries. 

Laughter leads to the dilation of blood vessels, increasing blood flow through the release of nitric oxide, a key factor in maintaining vascular flexibility. 

It also reduces arterial stiffness, a condition that can lead to increased blood pressure and a higher risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Additionally, laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body's natural feel-good chemicals, promoting an overall sense of well-being and temporarily relieving pain. 

It also reduces the level of stress hormones, which are linked to inflammation and increased heart disease risk.

Moreover, the deep respiratory patterns associated with laughter can enhance oxygen intake, improving the function of the heart and other vital organs. 

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