Homeostatic effect of laughter on diabetic cardiovascular complications: The myth turned to fact

Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2018 Jan:135:111-119. doi: 10.1016/j.diabres.2017.11.014. Epub 2017 Nov 21.


Aims: Laughter has been used for centuries to alleviate pain in morbid conditions. It was not until 1976 that scientists thought about laughter as a form of therapy that can modulate hormonal and immunological parameters that affect the outcome of many serious diseases. Moreover, laughter therapy was shown to be beneficial in type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) by delaying the onset of many diabetic complications. Laughter is also described to influence the cardiovascular and endothelial functions and thus may protect against diabetic cardiovascular complications. In this review, we outline the different biochemical, physiological and immunological mechanisms by which laughter may influence the overall state of wellbeing and enhance disease prognosis. We also focus on the biological link between laughter therapy and diabetic cardiovascular complications as well as the underlying mechanisms involved in T2DM.

Methods: Reviewing all the essential databases for "laughter" and "type 2 diabetes mellitus".

Results: Although laughter therapy is still poorly investigated, recent studies show that laughter may retard the onset of diabetic complications, enhance cardiovascular functions and rectify homeostatic abnormalities associated with T2DM.

Conclusions: Laughter therapy is effective in delaying diabetic complications and should be used as an adjuvant therapy.

Keywords: Cardiovascular diseases; Diabetes; Diabetic cardiomyopathy; Diabetic complications; Laughter.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology*
  • Diabetes Complications / therapy*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / complications*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / pathology
  • Homeostasis
  • Humans
  • Laughter / physiology*