Posted by: Stephanie Faris
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There are many health benefits to falling in love, including a reduction in stress levels and an increase in preventive health care. But scientists have found another potential medical bonus: those who are newly in love are less likely to catch a cold.
The new information came in the form of a study, which found that when you fall in love, you experience an increase in the genes that battle viruses. It’s important to note, though, that the study was a fairly small one. Researchers monitored 47 women over the course of 24 months, routinely drawing blood and having them complete questionnaires. All the women were in a new relationship at the start of the study, defined as having been seeing a person for no longer than one month. The researchers found that the women who fell in love with the person they were seeing had an increase in those virus-fighting genes. Those who didn’t fall in love, though, didn’t exhibit that gain.
One theory is that the increase in immunity genes is the body’s way of naturally preparing for the intimacy that’s a natural part of falling in love. Since many viruses are sped through physical contact, a boost in antiviral activity seems only natural.