Health Media ArticlesExcerpts of Key Health Media Articles in Major Media
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Most chickens spend the bulk of their short lives covered or standing in feces, ... and the way in which they are dispatched in the modern era is so sordid that farm states are actually passing laws to keep you from ever bearing witness to the slaughter. The one small hope for human health has been that the US Department of Agriculture has inspectors to watch over [chicken] processing plants and make sure we don't eat sick chickens or chickens covered in their own feces as they make their way through the processing plant. That is, it's been the one hope until now. The USDA is moving toward final approval of a rule that would replace most government inspectors with untrained company employees, and to allow companies to slaughter chickens at a much faster rate. The rule is called the "Modernization of Poultry Slaughter Inspection", but advocates like the Center for Food Safety and Food and Water Watch are calling it the "Filthy Chicken Rule". "It's really letting the fox guard the chicken coop", says Tony Corbo of Food and Water Watch. And there are already plenty of problems. The rule comes in the midst of a years-long increase in the number of food-born illnesses, driven in part by a shortage of government inspectors. Salmonella "is estimated to cause 1.2 million illnesses in the United States, with about 23,000 hospitalizations and 450 deaths" each year, according to a recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Note: For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing government corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
Ben & Jerry's has made a pledge to remove all GMO ingredients from its ice cream. The company has taken a vocal stand in recent years in support of states looking at legislation that would require manufacturers to disclose food that is made with genetic engineering. And Vermont recently passed a law that will require labeling starting in 2015. Ben & Jerry's co-founder Jerry Greenfield [then] launched a campaign to help fill the coffers of Vermont's crowd-sourced defense fund set up to combat lawsuits over its labeling law. Some other mainstream companies are carefully — and much more quietly — calibrating their non-GMO strategies. General Mills' original plain Cheerios are now GMO-free, but the only announcement was in a company blog post in January. Grape Nuts, another cereal aisle staple, made by Post, is also non-GMO. And Target has about 80 of its own brand items certified GMO-free. Megan Westgate runs the Non-GMO Project, which acts as an independent third-party verifier of GMO-free products, including Target's. She says her organization knows about "a lot of exciting cool things that are happening that for whatever strategic reasons get kept pretty quiet." The Non-GMO Project has certified more than 20,000 products since it launched in 2007, and Westgate says this is one of the fastest growing sectors of the natural food industry, representing $6 billion in annual sales.
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Most everyone who has ever selected their fruits and vegetables from the "organic" section while grocery shopping probably thought they were doing something good for their bodies and the environment. Yet the question of whether organic foods are in fact more nutritious than their conventionally grown counterparts remains a topic of heated scientific debate. On [July 14], the British Journal of Nutrition published research that disputed the notion that organic foods are essentially no more healthful than conventional foods. After reviewing 343 studies on the topic, researchers in Europe and the United States concluded that organic crops and organic-crop-based foods contained higher concentrations of antioxidants on average than conventionally grown foods. At the same time, the researchers found that conventional foods contained greater concentrations of residual pesticides and the toxic metal cadmium. "This shows clearly that organically grown fruits, vegetables and grains deliver tangible nutrition and food safety benefits," said study coauthor Charles Benbrook, a research professor at Washington State University's Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources.
Note: Read more about this landmark study in this article.
Meditating can have an almost instant effect on reducing stress, researchers have found. They say three consecutive days of 25 minute sessions can have a dramatic effect. Researchers studied 'mindful[ness] meditation' - a technique developed in the 1970s. Inspired by ancient Buddhist meditation, mindfulness courses were developed in the late 1970s by US doctors to combat stress. The guiding principle is to live more ‘in the moment’, spending less time going over past stresses and worrying about future problems. Techniques include moving the focus of attention around the body and observing sensations that arise – the so-called ‘body scan’. A secular practice, it is said to help people recognise and overcome negative thoughts while noticing small pleasures. 'More and more people report using meditation practices for stress reduction, but we know very little about how much you need to do for stress reduction and health benefits,' said lead author J. David Creswell. For the study, Creswell and his research team had 66 healthy individuals aged 18-30 years old participate in a three-day experiment. Some participants went through a brief mindfulness meditation training program; for 25 minutes for three consecutive days, the individuals were given breathing exercises to help them monitor their breath and pay attention to their present moment experiences. The participants who received the brief mindfulness meditation training reported reduced stress perceptions to ... speech and math tasks, indicating that the mindfulness meditation fostered psychological stress resilience.
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The Metropolitan Community Clinic, in Athens ... is no average health facility. The Metropolitan is a “social clinic,” where all the doctors and assistants commit themselves for a period of at least two years to provide free health care to uninsured sick people. And right now there are a lot of those in Greece. Cardiologist Giorgos Vichas is the inspired founder and director of the clinic. Two and a half years ago, when he looked around and saw what the economic crisis meant for more and more patients, he decided to start providing free health care. He rallied a number of his colleague friends, and together they started their clinic in the southern part of Athens. Vichas heads a team of some 100 doctors and 150 assistants. Many of them have a paid job apart from this work; some are jobless. The Metropolitan harbors all kinds of specialists: eye doctors, gynecologists, physical therapists, orthopedists, psychologists, cardiologists, dentists. The clinic offers diagnostics and medical treatment. On top of that, the chronically ill can come back for medication, follow-up examinations or psychological support. Since the clinic started up, some 25,000 patients have been treated. The Metropolitan accepts no financial donations. “If someone drops in offering a hundred thousand dollars,” says Vichas in his treatment room, “I write down on a piece of paper what our needs are and tell them, ‘Here you are—go and buy it wherever you want and bring it to us.’ That’s how donors get to know us and will get to know the patients we’re helping.” Most of all, the clinic needs medicine, which is also received through donations.
Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
We have come to think that if something is "in our genes", it is our inevitable destiny. However, this is a gross oversimplification. We have each inherited a particular set of genes, but the outcome of that inheritance is not fixed. Our environment, diet and circumstance flood our bodies with molecules that switch the genes on or off. The result can make a huge difference to our destiny – and that of our descendants. One example of these "epigenetic" changes occurs when a bundle of carbon and hydrogen atoms known as a methyl group attaches itself to the DNA and changes the way its instructions are carried out. Methyl groups often come from what we eat. Lack of food seems to have an epigenetic effect, too. A study of Dutch women starved by the Nazis during the second world war ... found elevated levels of schizophrenia, breast cancer and heart disease. The data suggest that the alterations to which genes are turned on or off survive at least two generations: the one that suffered in the womb during the famine, and their children. They may go much further. A 2011 study published by researchers at the Salk Institute in La Jolla, California, demonstrated epigenetic mutations that lasted for at least 30 generations in plants. What you eat, what your mother ate, the age when your grandfather started smoking, the amount of pollution in your neighbourhood – these factors have all been linked to epigenetic changes that get passed down through the generations. Armed with this new insight, we can take far more control of our health – and the health of future generations.
Note: For a truly engaging and revolutionary book on this topic, read The Biology of Belief by Bruce Lipton, a top researcher in the field of cell biology. For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing health news articles from reliable major media sources.
Pregnant women who live near areas where agricultural pesticides are applied experience a higher risk of delivering children with autism or other developmental delays, a UC Davis study has found. The study, published today in the periodical Environmental Health Perspectives, found that mothers who lived within roughly one mile of where pesticides were applied were found to have a 60 percent higher risk of having children with any of the spectrum of autism disorders, such as Asperger’s syndrome. The study is the latest in a growing body of research exploring links between the environment and the development of autism. The results are no small matter for the Central Valley, which receives most of the 200 million pounds of agricultural pesticides applied annually in California. In Sacramento County, roughly 3,100 public school students have been diagnosed as autistic. The autistic population in the county has risen sevenfold since 2000, according to the California Department of Education. The study, conducted by a team of researchers at UC Davis’ MIND Institute, is unique for its use of a large state case group of children confirmed as having autism spectrum disorder and developmental delays, said lead researcher Janie Shelton. The subjects were part of research called the Childhood Autism Risks from Genetics and Environment study. The study explored the geographic location of families that now have children between 2 and 5 years old who were diagnosed with autism or developmental delay.
Note: For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing autism news articles from reliable major media sources.
For many families, a night at the ballpark is a treat. But it can be a nightmare for those with autistic children. Autism causes a greater sensitivity to environmental stimulation. So the lights, music and roar of the crowd can trigger a severe meltdown that is difficult to anticipate and control. "They're frustrated and they're scared and they're just overwhelmed," said Debra Forman, whose 8-year-old son, Adam, has autism. "You have to ask yourself if it's worth it." Dr. Wendy Ross was heartbroken to hear stories like this from families. The developmental pediatrician also knew that isolation didn't serve her patients well in the long run. "If kids are not in the community, building their skills from very young ages, then there's no reason to expect them to be independent one day," Ross said. "It's a social disability. It needs to be addressed in a social setting." So in 2007, Ross set out to do just that. Today, her nonprofit, Autism Inclusion Resources, helps families affected by autism navigate challenging social situations, such as airport travel, sporting events and museum visits. Ross partnered with the Philadelphia Phillies in 2012 to develop an innovative program. She armed all the Phillies game day employees -- approximately 3,000 people -- with knowledge about autism and how to interact with individuals who have the disorder. Now, everyone from the ticket takers to the hot dog vendors ... help create an atmosphere where families feel supported. Each family is ... provided a clinician at the game who gives additional support if problems arise. For Forman, having the professional assistance was a huge relief.
Just months after U.S. Congressman Bill Posey compared the Center for Disease Control (CDC)'s vaccine safety studies to the SEC's Bernie Madoff scandal, malfeasance in the CDC's studies of thimerosal-containing vaccines has, for the first time, been documented in peer-reviewed scientific literature. The journal BioMed Research International now provides direct evidence that the CDC's safety assurances about the mercury-containing preservative are not fact-based, according to the article's lead author, Brian Hooker. The paper [cites] over 165 studies that have found thimerosal to be harmful, including 16 studies that had reported [serious detrimental] outcomes in human infants and children. "Substantial scientific evidence exists and has existed for many years that the vaccine ingredient thimerosal is a developmental neurotoxin" says George Lucier, former Associate Director of the National Toxicology Program. Studies showing harm from thimerosal sharply contradict published outcomes of six CDC coauthored and sponsored papers – the very studies that CDC relies upon to declare that thimerosal is "safe" for use in infant and maternal vaccines. Dr. Hooker ... said of the six CDC studies, "Each of these papers is fatally flawed from a statistics standpoint and several of the papers represent issues of scientific malfeasance. For example, important data showing a relationship between thimerosal exposure and autism are withheld from three of the publications. This type of cherry-picking of data by the CDC in order to change the results of important research studies to support flawed and dangerous vaccination policies should not be tolerated."
Note: A Reuters article reports that the former head of the US's CDC was later named president of Merck's vaccine division with accompanying high salary. Could this be payoff for her support in suppressing studies that cast doubt on vaccines? For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing vaccines news articles from reliable major media sources.
Elizabeth Holmes founded her revolutionary blood diagnostics company, Theranos, when she was 19. It’s now worth more than $9 billion, and poised to change health care. In the fall of 2003, Elizabeth Holmes, a 19-year-old sophomore at Stanford, plopped herself down in the office of her chemical engineering professor, Channing Robertson, and said, “Let’s start a company.” As a freshman, Holmes had taken Robertson’s seminar on advanced drug-delivery devices–things like patches, pills, and even a contact-lens-like film that secreted glaucoma medication–but now she had invented one the likes of which Robertson had never conceived. It was a wearable patch that, in addition to administering a drug, would monitor variables in the patient’s blood to see if the therapy was having the desired effect, and adjust the dosage accordingly. With Robertson’s blessing, Holmes started her company and, a semester later, dropped out to pursue it full-time. Now she’s 30, and her private, Palo Alto-based corporation, called Theranos–the name is an amalgam of the words “therapy” and “diagnosis”–has 500 employees. Theranos today is a potentially highly disruptive upstart in America’s $73 billion diagnostic-lab industry. It currently offers more than 200–and is ramping up to offer more than 1,000–of the most commonly ordered blood diagnostic tests, all without the need for a syringe. Theranos’s tests can be performed on just a few drops of blood, or about 1/100th to 1/1,000th of the amount that would ordinarily be required–an extraordinary potential boon to frequently tested hospital patients or cancer victims, the elderly, infants, [and] children.
Even while the debate over whether cell phones cause cancer rages on, researchers are starting to explore other potentially harmful effects that the ubiquitous devices may have on our health. Because they emit low-level electromagnetic radiation (EMR), it’s possible that they can disturb normal cell functions and even sleep. And with male infertility on the rise, Fiona Mathews at the University of Exeter, in England, and her colleagues decided to investigate what role cell phones might play in that trend. In their new research, they analyzed 10 previous studies, seven of which involved the study of sperm motility, concentration and viability in the lab, and three that included male patients at fertility clinics. Overall, among the 1,492 samples, exposure-to-cell-phone EMR lowered sperm motility by 8%, and viability by 9%. Exactly how much the cell phones are contributing to lower-quality sperm isn’t clear yet — the researchers note that how long the phones are kept in pockets, as well as how much EMR the phones emit (most are legally required to stay below 2.0 W/kg) are also important things to consider when figuring out an individual’s risk. But the lab-dish studies do show that sperm are affected by the exposure, and that provides enough reason to investigate the possibility that cell phones may be contributing to lower-quality sperm and potentially some cases of infertility.
Note: Remember how for decades the tobacco industry claimed cigarettes caused no harm even while they were hiding studies which proved the opposite. For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing health news articles from reliable major media sources.
Fasting for as little as three days can regenerate the entire immune system, even in the elderly, scientists have found in a breakthrough. Although fasting diets have been criticised by nutritionists for being unhealthy, new research suggests starving the body kick-starts stem cells into producing new white blood cells, which fight off infection. Scientists at the University of Southern California say the discovery could be particularly beneficial for people suffering from damaged immune systems, such as cancer patients on chemotherapy. It could also help the elderly whose immune system becomes less effective as they age, making it harder for them to fight off even common diseases. The researchers say fasting "flips a regenerative switch" which prompts stem cells to create brand new white blood cells, essentially regenerating the entire immune system. "It gives the 'OK' for stem cells to go ahead and begin proliferating and rebuild the entire system," said Prof Valter Longo, Professor of Gerontology and the Biological Sciences at the University of California. "And the good news is that the body got rid of the parts of the system that might be damaged or old, the inefficient parts, during the fasting. Now, if you start with a system heavily damaged by chemotherapy or ageing, fasting cycles can generate, literally, a new immune system." Prolonged fasting forces the body to use stores of glucose and fat but also breaks down a significant portion of white blood cells. During each cycle of fasting, this depletion of white blood cells induces changes that trigger stem cell-based regeneration of new immune system cells.
Note: For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.
Why are Americans spending billions on gluten-free products? Is it just a fad or does it make a difference? Perhaps the latter. Several of my patients avoid gluten without any apparent need to do so, and they are convinced their health has improved. One told me that her abdominal bloating, gas and pain have improved. Another says her skin cleared up, and she no longer retains water. Another claims that her "brain fog" is gone, and still another believes that her chronic neck pain due to muscle tension has improved significantly. What are they self-treating? None of them has celiac disease [or] a wheat allergy. They suffer from a syndrome that has yet to be clearly defined. The term "non-celiac gluten sensitivity" (NCGS) appears to be gaining traction. NCGS is what we call a "clinical diagnosis," a syndrome defined by symptoms alone, not by tissue biopsy or blood test. What are the symptoms of NCGS? Abdominal pain, eczema and/or rash, headache, "foggy mind," fatigue, diarrhea, depression, extremity numbness and joint pain. There is nothing unique about these symptoms, which occur in many other conditions. Though the small intestine of those with NCGS looks normal, symptoms appear to go away when gluten is removed from the diet and reappear when gluten is reintroduced. Ultimately, a powerful medical group, such as the American Gastroenterological Association, needs to issue criteria by which someone can be said to have gluten sensitivity.
Note: Some speculate that modern wheat strains, GMOs, and processing methods are behind the increase in gluten sensitivity. For more on this, see this merocla.com article and this article on the history of wheat.
Chipotle's ... vision is to change the way people think about and eat fast food. Nothing is more important to us than serving our customers fresh, delicious ingredients that are raised responsibly. Over the years, we have had great success serving the premium beef we call Responsibly Raised, which is produced according to high standards requiring, among other things, that animals be raised without hormones or antibiotics. Sometimes the existing supply of the premium meats we serve is unable to meet our growing demand. This has been the case recently with a portion of the steak we serve, as the size of the total U.S. cattle herd has shrunk to its lowest point in more than 60 years. Returning to grass-based farming systems for cattle is a core component of our long-term vision. Most livestock today spend much of their lives in conditions far from the natural ecosystems in which they evolved. Most cattle spend the latter part of their lives in feedlots, where they are fed grain like corn and soy. There's also evidence suggesting that grass-fed beef is healthier for the people who eat it, and when managed properly, easier on the environment. Over time, we hope that our demand for grass-fed beef will help pave the way for more American ranchers to adopt a grass-fed program. We want to encourage more American ranchers to make the transition to raising cattle entirely on grass.
Note: The above was written by Steve Ells, founder and Co-CEO of Chipotle Mexican Grill. It is great to see a major food company encouraging American farmers to transition out of the unsustainable and extremely unhealthy practice of factory-farming.
What Wikipedia has done for knowledge, a San Francisco company called CrowdMed is betting it can do for medicine. Send your symptoms and a nominal fee to CrowdMed.com, and dozens of medical professionals, students and average Joes will “crowdsource” — that is, share their knowledge and expertise — to help diagnose what’s wrong with you. The company isn’t out to replace your family doctor, but instead take advantage of the reach of social media to tap into an age-old medical practice: seeking second opinions. Or, in this case, hundreds of them. At the UC-Berkeley/UC-San Francisco Joint Medical Program, Dr. Amin Azzam, director of the “problem-based learning” curriculum, wants to use CrowdMed “to push the boundaries of how we train medical students.” Instead of teaching first- and second-year students with “pretend patients,” as is done now, Azzam is proposing adding CrowdMed’s cases to the curriculum. “They might even be more motivated to learn because it’s a real patient,” he said. Within 90 days of a consumer putting a case online, CrowdMed’s algorithm generates a list of the most probable diagnoses submitted by its “medical detectives,” along with their explanations. Patients are asked to give those suggestions to their physicians for consideration. Once it’s confirmed that the suggestions were helpful, the patients are refunded their $50 deposit and the detective who made the correct diagnosis gets his or her reward.
Vermont on [May 8] became the first state in the nation to require the labeling of genetically engineered foods. Gov. Peter Shumlin signed that mandate into law on Thursday afternoon, saying in a statement “we believe we have a right to know what’s in the food we buy.” The new law represents a significant victory for advocates who have for years pushed such measures at the state and local level. But there remains one more hurdle to overcome: a likely lawsuit. Legislators, officials and advocates are preparing for the state to be sued over the new law. Last month, state Attorney General Bill Sorrell told Vermont Public Radio that he would be “very surprised” if the state isn’t sued. And officials were so sure of a challenge that the measure itself creates a $1.5 million legal defense fund, to be paid for with settlements won by the state. “The threat of a lawsuit worked for a while, but now it doesn’t work anymore,” says Ronnie Cummins, national director of the Organic Consumers Association, whose organization has for years worked with activists and lawmakers in Vermont on the issue. At least 25 states have considered such legislation, according to a recent report on labeling requirements from the nonprofit Council for Agricultural Science and Technology. And advocates are hopeful they will get a measure on the Oregon ballot this year. Proponents argue that the science behind genetically modified food is far from conclusive and ask why consumers should take risks without knowing what they’re eating. If companies truly stand behind the safety of GMO foods, they shouldn’t worry about having to identify them, advocates for labeling argue.
Note: For many major media articles laying bare the serious risks and dangers of GMOs in our food, click here. For more on the major risks from GMO foods, see the deeply revealing summary available here.
Vermont's governor on [May 8] signed a bill into law that will require the labeling of genetically modified foods -- hailing it as the first such law in the nation. Under the new law, food offered for retail sale that is entirely or partially produced with genetic engineering must be labeled as such by July 2016. "Vermonters take our food and how it is produced seriously, and we believe we have a right to know what's in the food we buy," said Gov. Peter Shumlin. "More than 60 countries have already restricted or labeled these foods, and now one state -- Vermont -- will also ensure that we know what's in the food we buy and serve our families." In the absence of federal action, other states have introduced similar legislation or ballot initiatives, according to the non-profit Center for Food Safety. Maine and Connecticut passed laws requiring labeling, but they won't go into effect until other states pass GMO-labeling laws. Vermont is the first to pass a "no strings attached" bill, the watchdog group said. Supporters of the law expect it will be challenged in court. "I can make no predictions or promises about how the courts will ultimately rule but I can promise that my office will mount a vigorous and zealous defense of the law that has so much support from Vermont consumers," said Vermont Attorney General William Sorrell. The U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service approved a non-GMO label for meat and liquid egg products in June, the first time the department has approved such a label from a third party. GMO foods were approved for human consumption in 1995.
Note: For more on the major risks from GMO foods, see the deeply revealing summary available here. For many major media articles laying bare the serious risks and dangers of GMOs in our food, click here.
If you've never had a heart attack, the FDA says you can put down the aspirin bottle. Taking a daily aspirin is not necessary for people with no history of heart problems, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says. In a newly released consumer update bound to cause a stir for the 40 million Americans who take aspirin every day, the FDA says it has combed the evidence and concluded that people who have not had heart problems, even if they have a family history of it, will not benefit from taking a daily aspirin. The announcement comes after the FDA denied Bayer’s request to change its aspirin labels to say aspirin can aid in the prevention of heart attacks in people without a history of heart disease. On its website, the FDA has written, “FDA has concluded that the data do not support the use of aspirin as a preventive medication by people who have not had a heart attack, stroke or cardiovascular problems, a use that is called ‘primary prevention.’ In such people, the benefit has not been established but risks — such as dangerous bleeding into the brain or stomach — are still present.” Dr. Robert Temple, deputy director for clinical science at the FDA, said in the recommendation that since the 1990s there has been clinical data showing that people who have undergone a heart attack, stroke or any blood vessel disease in the heart can benefit from taking a daily low dose of aspirin and can lower the risk of having another adverse heart event. This is what the FDA refers to as “secondary prevention.”
Note: Read a mercola.com article on this for more.
More than 90 percent of the soybeans churned out on US farms each year are genetically engineered to withstand herbicides, nearly all of them involving one called Roundup. Organic production, by contrast, is marginal—it accounts for less than 1 percent of total American acreage devoted to soy. After harvest, the great bulk of soybeans are crushed and divided into two parts: meal, which mainly goes into feed for animals that become our meat, and fat, most of which ends up being used as cooking oil or in food products. According to the US Soy Board, soy accounts for 61 percent of American's vegetable oil consumption. Given soy's centrality to our food and agriculture systems, the findings of a new study published in the peer-reviewed journal Food Chemistry are worth pondering. The authors found that Monsanto's ubiquitous Roundup Ready soybeans, engineered to withstand its own blockbuster herbicide, contain more herbicide residues than their non-GMO counterparts. The team also found that the GM beans are nutritionally inferior. They found residues of glyphosate (the active ingredient in Roundup) and aminomethylphosphonic acid, or AMPA, the compound glyphosate breaks down into as it decays, on all 10 of the GM samples—and in none of the non-GM and organic ones. The researchers found residue levels hovering above a level Monsanto itself has characterized as "extreme." Independent research ... found that Roundup in water at 3 ppm induced morphological changes in frogs.
Note: For more on the risks to health from GMO foods, see the deeply revealing summary available here.
Ever have trouble remembering where you just left your keys? Just laugh it off. New research suggests that humor can improve short-term memory in older adults. In a recent small study conducted at Loma Linda University in Southern California, 20 normal, healthy, older adults watched a funny video distraction-free for 20 minutes, while a control group sat calmly with no video. Afterwards, they performed memory tests and had saliva samples analyzed for stress hormones. You guessed it; those who got to laugh the 20 minutes away with the funny video scored better on short-term memory tests, researchers said. And salivary levels of the stress hormone cortisol -- a memory enemy of sorts -- were significantly decreased in the humor group. The less stress you have, researchers said, the better your memory. It works like this: humor reduces stress hormones, lowers your blood pressure, and increases your mood state, according to Dr. Lee Berk, a co-author of the study. The act of laughter -- or simply enjoying some humor -- increases endorphins, sending dopamine to the brain to provide a sense of pleasure and reward, Berk said. That, in turn, makes the immune system work better and changes brain wave activity towards what's called a "gamma frequency," amping up memory and recall.
Important Note: Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news articles on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.