DIET AND FITNESS:
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Laughing Drops Blood Sugar, Fights
Diabetes

January 2, 2009, (last updated January 25, 2009)

By Susan M. Callahan, Associate Editor and Featured Columnist
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A new study by Japanese researchers has made a startling
discovery--- a chuckle after a meal  helps to fight diabetes.


A chuckle may help the body process blood sugar, according to
research from Japan. A study of type 2 diabetes—the most
common form of the disease—found that laughter was linked to
lower blood sugar levels after a meal.

Normally, blood sugar rises after a meal. Called the post-
prandial sugar level, for non-diabetics, blood sugar typically
rises within 2 hours after eating up to but does exceed 120
mg/L, then gradually falls back to normal levels.  In diabetics,
the rise is steep. And afterwards, blood sugar does not drop
back gradually but instead it simply crashes.

Chuckling changes that patterns. The study found that the act
of laughing seems to stop the steep in rise of blood sugar after
a meal.

Over two days, participants were given identical meals. On one
day, they watched a humorless lecture, and on the next they
watched a Japanese comedy show. The group of 19 people
with diabetes and five without had their blood sugar monitored
during the study.

Afterwards both diabetics and non-diabetics alike had lower
glucose levels after laughing through the comedy show than
they did when they listened to the monotonous 40-minute
lecture. The study was published in Diabetes Care.

Keiko Hayashi, of the University of Tsukuba, Japan, who led the
study says that he cannot yet explain the laughter-glucose
connection. It could be that laughter affects the neuro-
endocrine system, which monitors the body's glucose levels. Or
it may be an effect of energy used by the stomach muscles.




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