Optimists are 30 per cent less likely to die from any disease than grumpy folk – and the chances of being killed by a fatal infection are more than halved, scientists found. The problem with their health is…. they are TOO healthy!
BEING cheerful adds years to your life, research reveals.
Optimists are 30 per cent less likely to die from any disease than grumpy folk – and the chances of being killed by a fatal infection are more than halved, scientists found.
Optimism is thought to boost health by suppressing stress hormones in the body.
High levels of these over long periods can cause deadly inflammation in blood vessels, which can trigger a major illness.
Not that this is the first study to draw a link between happiness and good health, of course. Previous research has found being bubbly has health benefits mostly for the heart.
Last month, Finnish boffins found being a misery guts like Victor Meldrew from hit TV series One Foot in the Grave doubled the chances of dying from heart problems.
But the latest study, by medics at Harvard Medical School in the US, suggests the actual benefits of being cheery are much greater.
They studied 70,000 women taking part in long-term health research, comparing optimism levels with illness and death rates.
The results, in the American Journal of Epidemiology, showed outlook on life had a dramatic impact on survival.
And lead researcher Dr Eric Kim said men are likely to benefit just as much as women.
“Our new findings suggest that we should make efforts to boost optimism, which has been shown to be associated with healthier behaviours and healthier ways of coping with life challenges,” he said.
“It has been shown to be associated with healthier behaviours and healthier ways of coping with life challenges. The association between optimism and health is very consistent across genders. Our findings likely apply to men as well.”
Another recent study by psychologists at Rutgers University in the US found optimism was the key to a lasting marriage.
MEANWHILE, eating magnesium-rich foods like spices, nuts, beans and green leafy vegetables can slash diabetes risk by a quarter, a study says.
High levels of the mineral can also curb strokes and heart attacks.
Chinese experts came up with the findings after tracking more than a million people in nine countries.
Researcher Dr Fudi Wang said: “Low levels of magnesium in the body have been associated with a range of diseases.”
The study is published in the journal BMC Medicine.
Originally written by Nick McDermott and published on The Sun