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immune system

Many of us know the 'symptoms' of falling in love; dry mouth, racing heartbeat, nervous sweating (hey- no judgement here) and even dizziness.

Be it love at first sight, a lustful locking of eyes across the room, fizzling sexual chemistry or even just plain HORMONES; it's a massively powerful experience.

Seeing as Valentine's Day, dread it or delight in it, is only 31 days away, we've decided to get our reading glasses on and find the science behind LURVE.

We're not the only publication carrying out extensive and important research into Cupid; scientists at the University of California have delved deeper to attempt to discover what happens to our bodies.

Apparently, that euphoric high that can occur when the flame is lit might be due to your GENES, according to Stylist.

The University of California were itching to discover how love affects the genes which control our immune systems, and took blind samples from 47 young women as they engaged in brand new relationships.

Genetic changes were monitored as the women fell in love over the course of two years with a new partner, and the scientists recently published their findings in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology.

According to the researchers; “Falling in love is one of the most psychologically potent experiences in human life. New romantic love is accompanied not only by psychological changes, but physiological changes as well.”

feel better in love GIF

The journal claims that when the women in their sample fell in love, their genes produces interferon- a protein most commonly deployed to fight viruses within the human body. 

"These findings are consistent with a selective up-regulation of innate immune responses to viral infections… and provide insight into the immuno-regulatory correlates of one of the keystone experiences in human life,” the scientists claim.

As women later fell out of love with their respective partners, their production of interferon was reduced. WHOA.

The experts assert that; “Some research suggests that psychological changes associated with romantic love may be attenuated as the relationship matures,” the experts said.

“The biological correlates of love might abate with the maturation of a longer-term more stable mate bond.”

jim carrey love GIF

Though the scientists don't yet know the exact reason for women producing an increase of interferon, they're pondering the idea that it may be to prepare for PREGNANCY. Whoa x2. 

Researchers now believe that men's genetic response probably isn't the same as women's. Typical lads.

Previous scientific investigations found that both regions of our brains interact as we fall deeply in lurve.

The 'feel good' neurotransmitter dopamine is distributed across our brains when the ventral tegmental area and caudate nucleus work in tangent with each other. 

Basically, in English this means that as we become romantically involved with someone, we start craving their presence.

The craving gets deeper as we fall more deeply in love with them, hence the feeling of lovesick obsession.

i love you GIF

Experiencing heartbreak can also affect our bodies, apparently.

No, not just bloating from all that Ben & Jerry's.Though that's a definite contributing factor…

Intense rejection activates the area of our brains that deal with physical pain, and research alleges that our bodies are literally more physically sensitive when we go through a break-up or romantic rejection.

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Having recently been linked to depression, often associated with weight gain and commonly blamed for breakouts, it’s safe to say the contraceptive pill has a bit of a bad rep.

But thankfully for its users, there could be one unusual benefit to taking progesterone only and combined pills – and no it’s not just the prevention of unplanned pregnancies.

Research conducted at the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health suggests that the pill could help prevent common illnesses like the flu.

Taking female mice as participants, the study found that animals with higher levels of progesterone in their bodies had better functioning immune systems than those in possession of lower doses of the hormone.

Because progesterone is found in the majority of pills, those who’ve been prescribed the contraceptive could have boosted immune systems and therefore be better able to fight Winter ailments.

While it is still very early days, if the study’s findings are found to be applicable to humans, it would mean that the pill could have real benefits for parts of the body beyond the reproductive system.

Feat image: iStock

GIFs: Giphy

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Your immune system is so important in every girl’s quest to feel good and look good. While it usually works well on its own, there are a few things you can do to help it stay strong.

Have a healthy lifestyle:
Don’t smoke and if you do, quit. Quit right now. Try to exercise regularly, maintain a healthy weight, control your blood pressure, consume alcohol in moderation and make sure you get enough sleep.

Avoid sugar:
Consuming high amounts of sugar can curb the immune system cells that fight diseases. Make sure you fill up on brightly colour fruits and vegetables like berries, apples, oranges, red grapes, sweet potatoes and carrots and avoid sugary drinks.

The right flavour:
Garlic is a great way to boost your immune system, so try use it in as many dishes as you can.

Avoid stress:
We know, we know – this is a lot easier said than done. However, stress can drag you down and make you more susceptible to colds and flus. Try working out to relieve any tensions, take up a yoga class or just simply slow down.

Go out with the girls:
You now have an excuse to go out with the girls – not that you ever needed one before. Feeling lonely or sad actually weakens your immune system so surround yourself with good relationships.

Remember, your immune system needs balance and harmony to keep it in tip top condition.

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Women everywhere roll their eyes when their man says, “I think I’m coming down with something”.

While ladies of the world have the ability to function when sick, men often have to be waited on hand and foot as they battle the infamous ‘man flu’.

However, before you breathe a sigh of frustration, there’s something you need to know: ‘man flu’ may actually be a real thing. Dun, dun, dun.

According to new research, males may actually suffer more when they are struck down with flu. This is due to their high levels of testosterone, which weaken their immune system.

On the upside though, it was found that a woman’s body is better able to fight the awful virus.

So the next time your man feels the sniffles coming on, you may want to hold your tongue and just hand him a tissue. 

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