Studies suggest kissing can do wonders for your health. Kissing can be many things: sweet, loving, intense, passionate.
But did you know it could also benefit your health? Kissing can also be a hormone releaser, a mini-workout and a mood relaxer. Makamba Online takes you through each one and explain just how beneficial a lip lock can be.
Gives your immune system a boost
Just as saliva can help oral hygiene, it can also give your immune system a boost. There are more than 700 types of bacteria inside a human mouth with no two alike. Therefore, exchanging saliva can introduce the body to new bacteria. Studies have shown that having a diverse number of bacteria in our bodies correlates with better health specifically when it comes to our microbiota, or the collection of microorganisms living inside us. A 2014 Dutch study found that a 10-second French kiss can exchange up to 80 million bacteria between us and our partner.
Increases sex drive
Kissing prompts your brain to release a happy tonic of feel-good chemicals like serotonin, dopamine, and oxytocin. Additionally, testosterone the hormone responsible for sex drive in both women and men is released into saliva during prolonged kissing.
It’s good for your teeth
kissing increases saliva flow. This in turn keeps the mouth, teeth and gums healthy by removing food particles. The extra saliva helps to wash bacteria off the teeth and reduce plaque buildup. Some experts even claim that the mineral ions in saliva can promote repair of small lesions in tooth enamel.
Kissing has been shown to decrease the stress hormone cortisol and increase serotonin, a chemical responsible for maintaining mood balance levels in the brain. It has also been shown to have similar benefits to meditation, mainly from its ability to release oxytocin, also known as the ‘love’ hormone. Oxytocin can act like a psychological buffer and induces a sense of calm and bonding in humans. Experts say we experience a surge of the hormone during orgasm but kind words or a gentle touch can also drive oxytocin levels up. This enhances the experience of what we identify as love and trust.
Delays signs of aging
Because kissing increases blood flow to the face, it stimulates the production of collagen, an abundant and important protein found in our bodies. In order to move your lips, your whole face has to get involved, which increases elasticity. Passionate kissing can lead to firming the face, especially the bottom half of the face.
Lessens allergic reactions
Dr Hajime Kimata, who specializes in allergology at a clinic in Japan, won an Ig Nobel Prize for revealing how 30 minutes of kissing can reduce the effect of allergic reactions. In 2006, his team studied 24 patients with two types of allergies: mild atopic eczema and mild allergic rhinitis, a nasal allergy. The researchers found that kissing reduced the body’s production of IgE, which is the body’s way of reacting to an allergen.
Lowers blood pressure
Because our lips are made up of blood vessels, kissing can lower blood pressure by dilating them and therefore allowing blood to flow to the vital organs. Plastic surgeon Dr Ryan Neinstein said: “The blood is then directed toward the face and away from the rest of the body so the demand on the heart goes down, resulting in lower blood pressure.”
As explained above, kissing lowers cortisol levels, which not only lowers anxiety, but also blood pressure.
Depending on which study you look at, kissing can burn anywhere between two and six calories per minute. However, kissing with tongue which uses all the muscles in your face can burn up to 26 calories per minute. Researchers also say we use 30 muscles while kissing, which helps keep your cheeks tight.
Andréa Demirjian, popular author of kissing coffee table books said: “Kissing and lovemaking can be a vigorous exercise if you’re fully engaged.You need to have a passionate kiss [in order to burn those calories], but it doesn’t have to be a 10-hour makeout session.”
Author: Gesture Chidhanguro