Saturday, April 18, 2009

Laughter, heart medicine for diabetics

Hearty laughter is an effective medicine in diabetes sufferers as it can help reduce their risk of developing possible heart attacks.

Compared to their non-diabetic counterparts, diabetics are two- to fourfold more vulnerable to developing cardiovascular diseases. A new study however considers laughter as a cost-free medication for preventing heart disease in this group.

According to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Physiological Society, laughter improves cholesterol levels in diabetics and subsequently lowers their heart attack risk. Laughing is associated with a 26 percent increase in the HDL (good cholesterol) levels; it also helps reduce C-reactive proteins -- a marker of the inflammatory diseases -- by 66 percent.

Some physicians believe laughter and humor can also help lower the increase in blood glucose that occurs after each meal. Scientists urge diabetics to adopt a healthy diet, exercise, watch their blood sugar, and add a little humor to their life.