Smart Living: Feeling love may protect your heart health

Published: Feb. 14, 2023 at 10:53 PM CST
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(KPLC) - Research shows that having a full heart emotionally impacts your heart physically, and over time, feeling love could actually nurture and protect the heart.

Maria Smith married the man of her dreams in a roadside chapel. Forty years later, she and Joe share everything, including chronic genetic heart issues.

“I believe that I am still alive today because of her,” said Joe Smith.

Their deep positive emotions are actually good for their health.

“When you feel loved you are more secure, you feel secure, you’re more open to loving other people, and that helps the disease, that helps you to heal,” said Dr. Puxiao Cen, a cardiologist with Advent Health Group.

Scientists in Michigan say feeling in love or cuddling can increase oxytocin, the “feel good” or “love” hormone. It stimulate stem cells in the heart’s outer layer.

Studies show it’s capable of activating heart repair mechanisms in injured zebrafish hearts and human cell cultures, opening the door to potential new therapies for heart regeneration in humans.

“If you have less inflammation, less stress, more loving in your life, then those plagues tend to be more stable,” Cen said.

If you’re in love, you might be calmer and more at peace, which could translate to lower blood pressure, and that’s the perfect elixir for a happy heart.

Besides love helping your heart, other benefits include improved immune health, lower blood pressure and faster recovery from illness.