Laughing could be the best cure for itchy and irritating skin conditions such as eczema in babies and infants, according to a new study published in June in New Scientist magazine.
BY Amy Anderson 4 July, 2007
The study proved that babies with atopic eczema suffered less serious skin reactions if their mothers watched a funny film before breast-feeding. Japanese researchers who carried out the study found the breast milk of mothers who had laughed before breast feeding their babies contained elevated levels of melatonin – a hormone linked to sleep and relaxation. The study found that six hours after seeing the funny film, mothers with eczema had on average 80 per cent more melatonin in their milk than those who saw a weather film. Milk from mothers without eczema who watched the funny film had 30 per cent more melatonin.
The study, carried out at Moriguchi-Keijinkai Hospital in Osaka, Japan, also found that babies who were given milk with higher melatonin levels reacted less to exposure to dust mites and latex.