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.
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.
Afterward 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 neuroendocrine system, which monitors the body's glucose levels. Or it may be an effect of energy used by the stomach muscles.