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HGH – Human Growth Hormone and Endorphins increase when you laugh – Improved autoimmune response and reduced Cortisol levels

May 11th, 2006

HGH – Human Growth Hormone and Endorphins increase when you laugh – Improved autoimmune response and reduced Cortisol levels


Laughing is good for you, it increases endorphins by 27 percent and HGH by 87 percent said a study from Loma Linda University.  Lee S. Berk, who is from the Department of Health Promotion and Education, School of Public Health and Department of Pathology, School of Medicine, Loma Linda University, first presented the results of this study of laughter at the American Physiological Society session at Experimental Biology 2006.

The researchers studied the effects of how a person’s neuroendocrine and hormone levels changed even when they anticipated watching their favorite funny movie.  They had two groups; one group was told that they were going to watch the funny movie, and the control group was not informed.  Blood samples were taken just before the participants watched the movie.  The results reinforced that your thoughts can make the difference in your health.


"The blood drawn from experimental subjects just before they watched the video had 27% more beta-endorphins and 87% more human growth hormone, compared to blood from the control group, which didn't anticipate the watching of a humorous video. Between blood pulls, the control group stayed in a waiting room and could choose from a wide variety of magazines," Berk said.

The results also lasted for the elevated levels of endorphins and HGH while watching the video and afterwards as well for the people that anticipated watching the comedy. The researchers measured blood levels during and after the movie to conclude the long lasting results.

"We believe the results suggest that the anticipation of a humor/laughter eustress (positive stress) event initiates changes in neuroendocrine response prior to the onset of the event itself," Berk said. "From our prior studies, this modulation appears to be concomitant with mood state changes, and taken together, these would appear to carry important, positive implications for wellness, disease-prevention and most certainly stress-reduction," he noted.


Berk also said the previous studies showed that laughter also helped offset chronic stress.  They benefits to reducing stress can help in the immune response which is associated with anti-viral and anti-tumor resistance.  The research also showed that there is a rebalancing of Th1/Th2 immune response that could help reduce autoimmune disorders.

"Mirthful laughter diminishes the secretion of cortisol and epinephrine, while enhancing immune reactivity. In addition, mirthful laughter boosts secretion of growth hormone, an enhancer of these same key immune responses. The physiological effects of a single one-hour session viewing a humorous video has appeared to last up to 12 to 24 hours in some individuals," Berk said, "while other studies of daily 30-minute exposure produces profound and long-lasting changes in these measures.”


Berk recommends that doctors as well as patients “get serious about happiness.”  Laughter can make the difference in your health so find time to laugh each day.

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Nicole Wilson
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Important:  The material on Best Syndication is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for any medical conditions. You should promptly seek professional medical care if you have any concern about your health, and you should always consult your physician before starting a fitness program.

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