RALEIGH — Remember the old saying laughter is the best medicine? You may want to take it to heart. Researchers say a good sense of humor may protect you from heart disease. Studies show people who laugh a lot and have a good sense of humor are 40 percent less likely to have heart disease than people who are depressed.
The good news is that laughter can be done anywhere or anytime. The key is to laugh out loud. That can be done while watching your favorite video, or while joking around with friends.
Experts are not sure exactly how laughter protects the heart. They do know that mental stress affects the protective lining in the blood vessels. This causes inflammation that leads to fat and cholesterol buildup and ultimately a heart attack. Releasing this mental stress regularly through laughter may help protect that lining and your heart.
So the next time you laugh, remember you are not just having fun, you are also getting a dose of good medicine.
In case you are wondering about the dosage, experts believe a good laugh or two a day is enough to help protect your heart.