Researchers from the Ohio State University found that loneliness can really mess with our immune system and our body’s ability to respond to stress. The research was conducted at a group of 200 female breast cancer survivors with an average age of 51. The research showed that the lonelier participants had higher levels of antibodies against the Herpes virus (this virus can be used to indicate the level of stress), and also reported more pain, depression and fatigue.
During a second experiment with 144 of the above females and a group of 134 overweight but healthy adults, lonelier participants showed a higher level of inflammation-related proteins which is linked to diseases like diabetes, heart disease, arthritis and Alzheimer’s. The experiment was to put participants under high stress, asking them to give a short lecture in front of an audience and solve a mathematical problem in front of other people and a camera.
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