Take one funny film twice daily

I saw this paper while selecting items for the database and had to share it. This study found that laughing at a comic film increases melatonin excretion into breast milk and babies fed this milk suffer fewer atopic eczema symptoms. Sounds like the treatment for atopic eczema could suddenly become fun!

Hajime Kimata, the author showed videos to two groups of mothers of children with atopic eczema. One group of mothers had atopic eczema themselves while the other group was healthy.

The laughter group giggled their way through a DVD of ‘Modern times’ a Charlie Chaplin film and controls had to sit though a weather report. All the mothers watching the Charlie Chaplin film had raised levels of melatonin in their breast milk afterwards and their babies showed definite signs of lessening allergy if they fed after the comic film. The effect was more noticable in mothers who were atopic themselves, perhaps because their levels of melatonin were lower at the start. The change in the size of reactions to skin tests in the babies was small but significant, according to the paper. Kimata didn’t measure melatonin in the babies so it is not clear what changes in melatonin they experienced.

A number of things spring to mind. Is ‘Modern times’ most effective? or is there a better film. And what’s the optimum dose?

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