Laughter improves breast milk's health effect
Famed for its restorative powers, it now seems that laughter also helps breast milk to fight skin allergies. Breastfed babies with eczema experienced milder symptoms if their mothers laughed hours before feeding them, according to a study by Hajime Kimata at the Moriguchi-Keijinkai Hospital in Osaka, Japan.
He showed breastfeeding mothers either a feature length Charlie Chaplin movie or bland footage of weather information, and took samples of breast milk at regular intervals afterwards. Two milk feeds later, he also measured their babies' allergic reactions to dust mites and latex. Those infants whose mothers had laughed had markedly reduced reactions (Journal of Psychosomatic Research, vol 62, p 699).
All participating babies and some of the mothers suffered from mild atopic eczema - the most common type. Kimata also found significantly higher levels of melatonin in the laughing mothers' milk. The hormone is associated with relaxation, and levels are reduced in people with eczema.