Not much compares to falling in love. The world becomes a different place, and you may become a different person. Literally. According to a new study, falling in love can even cause physical changes in women.
A recent study at UCLA revealed women undergo immunological changes when they fall in love. Researchers can still only speculate, but they believe the changes may be related to the body preparing to become pregnant. They plan an additional study to show how men’s bodies react to love, but predict the findings will be different.
Love is… Like a Virus?
Few studies have explored the physical effects of falling in love, but anyone who’s personally been there can tell you the experience is profound. Your mood and overall outlook improve. Your heart races when you think about the person, which is almost constantly. And if you’re a woman, according to a study recently conducted at UCLA, your immune system jumps into overdrive.
The study followed 47 young women for two years, comparing immunological variations that occurred when the subjects reported falling in love. The researchers found love caused changes in gene expression controlling Type I interferon and neutrophil levels, as though the women were fighting viral infections. Researchers are unsure about the purpose behind the immune response, but some have speculated it may be one of the ways the body prepares for pregnancy. Not surprisingly, the response waned as the women reported falling out of love.
To Be Continued…
The study is set continue with a group of male subjects, with the hopes that the team might learn more by looking at the differences in reactions between the sexes. Researchers suspect their findings with the male subjects will be different, given men have no need to prepare for pregnancy, but they can only speculate at this point.
Falling in love may be physically different for men and women, but its similarities are just as meaningful. Falling in love causes all people to produce compounds like oxytocin and vasopressin, which reduce inflammation and increase wellbeing. Some researchers believe love can physically heal. Whatever the biological processes, love draws us together, and it’s capable of creating unimaginable bonds. And, as science can attest, falling in love can change you.
~ Here’s to Your Health and Wellness