The effects of laughter on post-prandial glucose levels and gene expression in type 2 diabetic patients

Life Sci. 2009 Jul 31;85(5-6):185-7. doi: 10.1016/j.lfs.2009.05.002. Epub 2009 May 18.


This report mainly summarizes the results of our study in which the physiological effects of laughter--as a positive emotional expression--were analyzed with respect to gene expression changes to demonstrate the hypothesis that the mind and genes mutually influence each other. We observed that laughter suppressed 2-h postprandial blood glucose level increase in patients with type 2 diabetes and analyzed gene expression changes. Some genes showed specific changes in their expression. In addition, we revealed that laughter decreased the levels of prorenin in blood; prorenin is involved in the onset of diabetic complications. Further, laughter normalized the expression of the prorenin receptor gene on peripheral blood leukocytes, which had been reduced in diabetic patients; this demonstrated that the inhibitory effects of laughter on the onset/deterioration of diabetic complications at the gene-expression level. In a subsequent study, we demonstrated the effects of laughter by discriminating 14 genes, related to natural killer (NK) cell activity, to exhibit continuous increases in expression as a result of laughter. Our results supported NK cell-mediated improvement in glucose tolerance at the gene-expression level. In this report, we also review other previous studies on laughter.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Blood Glucose / metabolism*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / blood*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / genetics*
  • Gene Expression*
  • Humans
  • Killer Cells, Natural / physiology
  • Laughter / physiology*
  • Postprandial Period / physiology*
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / genetics*
  • Renin / blood


  • Blood Glucose
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • prorenin receptor
  • Renin