Kazuo Murakami, a Japanese geneticist who works for the Foundation for the Advancement of International Science, has put forward a theory that serious disease may be aided by laughter. Having used stand-up comedians to deliver rapid jokes, Murakami believes that he has isolated 23 separate genes that are directly connected to immune response.
One of the tests that he has conducted involved patients suffering from diabetes, and aimed to establish the effect of laughter on blood glucose. His study group consisted of 19 diabetic patients, and involved taking them to both a humourless lecture and a comedy show on consecutive days. The study group ate exactly the same diet, and the findings indicated that blood glucose levels were lower following the comedy show.
Murakami theorises that the actual bodily movement of laughter may help to break down glucose, or that the declining levels of glucose were due to fluctuations in the level of stress hormones. The study, which will be published in Diabetes Care, is reported amidst news of other studies linking laughter with positive health benefits for the heart.
The study, as Murakami says, may “suggest the importance of daily opportunities for laughter in patients with diabetes”.

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