We recently posted an item about a comedy benefit for children with HIV/AIDS, where performers like Ray Romano are set to raise money for the cause on May 1. It appears, however, that using comedy to fight disease can occur at an even more fundamental level.
A recent study by scientists in California, as reported in The Age, has now linked laughter to reduction of heart disease, diabetes and promoted it as a form of stress-relieving, immune system boosting exercise.
This is a very roundabout way of calling Ray Romano a hero.
However, as a comedian, inducing laughter and the sort, it could be argued that he’s saved some lives. The most recent study of this hypothesis had 14 volunteers watch portions of a comedy or stand-up routine; afterwards, blood samples were taken. The researchers discovered a reduction in stress hormones, an increase in immune T cells, and lower blood pressure. Another study had volunteers watch 20 minutes of similar comedy, and in addition to the previous benefits, there was a further drop in cholesterol, a rush of endorphins, and a stimulated appetite, similar to the effects of a jog around town.
There was no comment as to which comedians the volunteers watched. Arguably, it should be found that some comedians would induce an opposite effect. However, extending the study to Louis C.K., there’s a possibility we could just about cure cancer.