Valentine's Day is over, but that doesn't mean you have to give up on love. There are numerous benefits to showing affection, and according to a new study, those include warding off colds.
The new research, published in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology, found that falling in love is associated with an increased activity of certain genes, particularly ones involved in antiviral defenses. In other words, love could help us fight off viruses like colds and the flu.
The small study involved just 47 women who were given weekly questionnaires and had their blood taken over 24 months, depending on their relationship timeline. To be eligible for the study, women had to be in a new relationship, which was defined as seeing someone for less than a month.
While women who fell in love over the course of the study had increased activity of the immunity genes, this wasn't observed in women who did not fall in love.
虽然在研究过程中坠入爱河的女性增加了免疫基因的活性，但在没有坠入爱河的女性中却没有观察到这种情况。"This could reflect a kind of a proactive response to anticipating future intimate contact, given that most viruses are spread via close physical contact," said Damian Murray, lead author of the study and assistant professor at Tulane's School of Science and Engineering.