Sunday, October 7, 2012

Religion and Your Health
Over the past couple of decades there have been many studies showing that religion has a positive benefit for those desiring better health.  The following two paragraphs are quoted from the January 2010 issue of Vibrant Life online edition which may be found at for those who would like to read the entire article.
"One of the first studies to examine the specific pathways by which religion affects health was done by Dr. Harold Koenig, a researcher at Duke University Medical Center. In a study of 1,718 older adults in North Carolina who attended church at least once a week, he found they were only half as likely as nonattendees to have elevated levels of interleukin-6 (IL-6), an immune system protein involved in a wide variety of age-related diseases. It was hypothesized that if religious commitment could reduce stress, it would keep down the production of substances that impair the body’s ability to fight disease. One such substance was to be determined IL-6. Dr. Koenig’s findings were reported in a 1997 article in the Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine.
Koenig says he has run the numbers and found that religious people spend less time in the hospital, are healthier, recover faster, have fewer heart attacks, and generally handle life’s ups and downs in more positive ways. Other studies report that religious people tend to live 30 percent longer and experience better physical and mental health. They also have better marriages, use addictive substances less, and have stronger support systems. Even the skeptics, he says, should pay attention to his latest findings because of the practical results in terms of savings for insurance companies and hospitals. He advises that doctors need to factor in the patient’s religious beliefs and use their faith to help them recover."

Yours for better health!

-- Wayne Young

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