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university of california

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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Aged 11, 12, or 13 – most young women tend to get their first period around the same time. 

Sure, some are earlier and some are later, but overall, many of us kick-off proceedings within the same few years.

So suffice to say, (especially a decade-plus after the fact) we've never given that number all that much thought.

Until now, that is.

That's because, a recent study has identified a link between the age of your first period… and how long you're going to live. 

In short, the later your period started – the more life you have left in you.

Yup, beginning after the age of 12 (as well as experiencing menopause after age 50) suggests you are in good overall health.

Indeed, this small fact could help you live happily and healthily into your 90s.

According to the 21-year study of 16,000 women from the University Of California in San Diego, women who start and end their periods later in life have a better chance of hitting age 90. 

"Our team found that women who started menstruation at a later age were less likely to have certain health issues, like coronary heart disease, and those who experienced menopause later in life were more likely to be in excellent health overall, which may be a possible explanation for our findings," said Dr Aladdin Shadyab from the Department of Family Medicine And Public Health at the university's School Of Medicine.

So while may have felt desperately uncool at the time – it seems that getting period later could well be a pretty good thing after all!

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