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New York - Study: Gossip is Good For Your Health

Published on: June 15, 2009 08:19 AM
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New York - Want to be healthy and live longer?

Gossiping may be just what the doctor ordered because it increases progesterone, a hormone that reduces anxiety and stress and makes women happier, according to an article in the London Daily Mail.

The new research, at the University of Michigan, paired up 160 female students.

Half were instructed to ask each other questions meant to bring them closer together, while the rest worked in pairs on a joint activity that consisted of proofreading a botany paper.

“Half the girls exchanged intimate details of their lives,” explains Stephanie Brown, psychologist and a professor of internal medicine at the University of Michigan, who led the research. “We wanted to see whether becoming close with another person would release the hormone progesterone, which we know is related to long term physical health and has anti-stress effects.”

After 20 minutes, the girls who had asked each other “chatty” questions were found to have increased or steady progesterone levels, while the progesterone levels of the girls who’d worked on the botany project declined, Brown explains.

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“We know that people who are in close relationships live longer and are healthier than those who are socially isolated,” says Brown. “The mystery is how do these social connections work? It might have to do with progesterone.”

Progesterone has a reputation for being a “feel good” hormone that helps promote good sleep and increases bone density, says Dr. Steven Y. Park, clinical assistant professor of otolaryngology at New York Medical College.

But that doesn’t mean you should start popping progesterone pills.

“You need it in the right doses,” he says. “And it has to be in the right balance as estrogen in the body.

Many women have fatigue issues because stress lowers progesterone and can turn it into a stress hormone.”

Progesterone is a calming hormone that can increase one’s sense of well being, says Dr. Kent Holtorf, medical director of the Holtorf Medical Group, which specializes in women’s health.

For this reason, it’s often given to women who are suffering PMS. He does not recommend self medicating, however.

To bump up your natural progesterone production, you might invite some friends over for a good gossip fest.

“What this University of Michigan study shows is that you should engage in activities that are bonding emotionally,” Park says.

Another way of extending longevity, notes Brown, is to help other people.

“The act of benefiting another person is a way to predict longevity,” she says. “It suggests that altruism is beneficial for health, whether volunteering, caregiving or making sacrifices for others.”


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1

 Jun 15, 2009 at 07:21 AM yenta Says:

I should live forever, then.

2

 Jun 15, 2009 at 08:09 AM Anonymous Says:

Nebbach, all those "shmiras halashon" do-gooders have ruined it for the rest of us!

3

 Jun 15, 2009 at 08:21 AM Tanna Kamma Says:

seems they misinterpreted the verse "life & death is in the power of the tongue"...

4

 Jun 15, 2009 at 08:19 AM Oy Vey! Says:

You can call it progesterone or by it's real name 'yetzer hora' 'Mi hoish hechofets chaim.....Netzor leshonchu meiru'

5

 Jun 15, 2009 at 08:18 AM Anonymous Says:

i'll take the chofetz chaim over the iniversity of michigan anyday

6

 Jun 15, 2009 at 08:34 AM Anonymous Says:

It is possible to speak to a friend without resorting to lashon hora.

7

 Jun 15, 2009 at 08:43 AM Anonymous Says:

The study shows that devloping close relationships is what increases life. It is a sad commentary on society if the preferred way to develop relationships is by gossiping, which means putting others down.

8

 Jun 15, 2009 at 08:41 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #5  
Anonymous Says:

i'll take the chofetz chaim over the iniversity of michigan anyday

A bit of education would help you in your arguments.

9

 Jun 15, 2009 at 09:05 AM conversation Says:

Reply to #6  
Anonymous Says:

It is possible to speak to a friend without resorting to lashon hora.

Exactly you can even have a fun conversation. You can uplift each others spirit and share news that doesn't include a single word of Loshon Hora.

10

 Jun 15, 2009 at 09:42 AM Yoelish Says:

Reply to #7  
Anonymous Says:

The study shows that devloping close relationships is what increases life. It is a sad commentary on society if the preferred way to develop relationships is by gossiping, which means putting others down.

It doesnt say anywhere in the article about putting others down. It simply says ''sharing personal info about onesself'' which by no means is loshan hora. Yes, we all know that loshin hora is bad and we translate that to mean '' gossiping'' about others. But, this article does not translate gossip as meaning talking about others.

11

 Jun 15, 2009 at 09:41 AM bal mussar Says:

Reply to #1  
yenta Says:

I should live forever, then.

the university of michigan didn't include in their story how long the person spoken about will live, because the one being gossiped about will die of heartache very soon. so such a story is goes two ways, if someone gossips to you, they gossip of you, so beware all you gossipers. it's a lose-lose situation!!! of course the balei mussar in the michigan university that spent time researching this important study conveniently ommitted the fact that someone will be killed due to you extending your life!!!

12

 Jun 15, 2009 at 10:00 AM Anonymous Says:

"small people talk about other people smart people talk about ideas" its a simple fact the more educated a person is the less he will gossip. gossip is a natural result of low self esteem. (I feel low I belittle others, so I am more. get it? ) and the less educated, the less self esteem. this is true as day and night

13

 Jun 15, 2009 at 10:24 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #10  
Yoelish Says:

It doesnt say anywhere in the article about putting others down. It simply says ''sharing personal info about onesself'' which by no means is loshan hora. Yes, we all know that loshin hora is bad and we translate that to mean '' gossiping'' about others. But, this article does not translate gossip as meaning talking about others.

Gossip ; idle talk or rumor, especially about the personal or private affairs of others:

It is a way of mputting somone down, that they are not greater than you.

This was in the Daily News for goodness sakes, a paper is based on putting others down, what do you think they mean by gossip.

14

 Jun 15, 2009 at 11:32 AM Yoelish Says:

A point well taken.

15

 Jun 15, 2009 at 12:35 PM Anonymous Says:

I looked up this researcher's info. She's really a wacko what she writes about: that morality is evolutionary, men really want to be subordinate to women, etc. I think she does has mishagana ideas, comes up with polls and focus groups to support her inventions, and calls it scientific research.

16

 Jun 15, 2009 at 06:28 PM Anonymous Says:

why would they write this

17

 Jun 15, 2009 at 10:39 PM shoshana Says:

No wonder why woman live longer than men. Now we know our secret!

18

 Jun 15, 2009 at 09:36 PM Anonymous Says:

seems from the article that the 'gossip' referred to is not loshon hara; slander would be the more appropriate term for l"h, but this gossip seems to be just women chatting, not necessarily about others.

19

 Jun 15, 2009 at 11:10 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #10  
Yoelish Says:

It doesnt say anywhere in the article about putting others down. It simply says ''sharing personal info about onesself'' which by no means is loshan hora. Yes, we all know that loshin hora is bad and we translate that to mean '' gossiping'' about others. But, this article does not translate gossip as meaning talking about others.

We can indeed speak "lashon ha'ra" against ourselves. Americans especially are very good at "self deprecating" humor. But even sharing confidences with a friend can be dangerous. Counselors relate stories about women who shared secrets about their personal lives and it caused the listener to become "curious" and want to experience the first woman's husband too. In some cases these secrets can lead to envy and result in the ayin ha'ra. Tzinut isn't just being modestly dressed. It has to do with how we act and comport ourselves. Speaking intimate details to anyone but our spouses and Hashem and when absolutely necessary, a rav, can bring heartache to the speaker as well as the listener and those who are "innocent" victims.
This is the evil, humanistic anti-Torah speak of modern academia.

20

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