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Can happiness help your heart?

We know that joy is good for the heart on a figurative level, but could it actually provide a boost for cardiac health? That's what a team of researchers from ETH Zürich, an engineering, science, technology, mathematics and management university in Switzerland, sought to discover.

According to an ETH press release, Swiss researchers have been developing a synthetic gene module that can tap into the the natural rush of dopamine we experience when we're positively stimulated to ultimately moderate blood pressure. The collection of cells is triggered when we feel happiness or pleasure, setting into motion a biological process that can keep our blood pressure from skyrocketing.

"Dopamine, which circulates in the blood serum, regulates the breathing and the blood sugar balance. For a long time, it was thus assumed that the activities of brain and serum dopamine were connected," the source states.

This study is one of the first to present a clear connection between these events, and how they may be harnessed to provide brain support and promote bodily health.

Given that one in three American adults suffer from high blood pressure, or hypertension, based on estimates from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this discovery could come to be a boon for millions of people who are worried about heart and brain health. High blood pressure is a known risk factor for heart disease, stroke, diabetes and more – particularly when it is left untreated. However, exercise and nutritional intake can both influence the severity of this condition and its potential consequences.