Attention all post-menopausal women: the progesterone that is lost through menopause - contributing to some pretty pesky annoyances like depression, lethargy, panic attacks, water retention and vaginal dryness - can be increased without hormone replacement. How?
Through close friendships.
A study by the University of Michigan found that bonding with others increases progesterone. When scientists studied the saliva of women who emotionally bonded with other women through a shared cooperative activity designed to elicit closeness, their progesterone levels increased. And when these same women were tested a week later, they felt especially altruistic and said that they'd even risk their lives to help their partners.
Bonding is pretty strong stuff, isn't it?
I think this is interesting, don't you? I wonder if the need for friendship, especially as we age, is fueled by our body seeking out some replacement for those lost hormones. Friendship is a pretty easy, safe and inexpensive way to do this.
And, here's another great thing about friends: sharing laughter. I think we all have those certain friends that we laugh with. But it's worth the aching jaw, in my opinion. Laughter, as they say, is good for the soul - but it's also so good for the immune system as well.
Yes, my friends mean a lot to me - they always have, and I suspect they always will. They add a missing link to my life; the puzzle is not complete without that critical piece.
What do your friends mean to you?