-- Robert Preidt
WEDNESDAY, July 31 (HealthDay News) -- Different routes to
happiness have varying effects on your genes and your health,
according to a new study.
Researchers conducted genetic analyses of 80 healthy adults who
were assessed for two different types of happiness.
The investigators found that people with high levels of
happiness that comes from having a deep sense of purpose and
meaning in life (eudaimonic well-being) had favorable gene
expression in their immune cells. They had low levels of
inflammatory gene expression and strong expression of antiviral and
The opposite was true of people with high levels of happiness
associated with self-gratification (hedonic well-being). These
people had high levels of inflammatory gene expression and low
antiviral and antibody gene expression, according to the study
published online July 29 in the
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
But the researchers also found that people with high levels of
hedonic well-being didn't feel any worse than those with high
levels of eudaimonic well-being.
"Both seemed to have the same high levels of positive emotion. However, their genomes were responding very differently even though their emotional states were similarly positive," Steven Cole, a professor of medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles, said in a university news release.
"What this study tells us is that doing good and feeling good have very different effects on the human genome, even though they generate similar levels of positive emotion," Cole said. "Apparently, the human genome is much more sensitive to different ways of achieving happiness than are conscious minds."
The American Academy of Family Physicians explains how
emotions affect your health.
EBSCO Information Services is fully accredited by URAC. URAC is an independent, nonprofit health care accrediting organization dedicated to promoting health care quality through accreditation, certification and commendation.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
Copyright © EBSCO Information Services. All rights reserved.