A small study shows that diabetics may be better able to process the sugar they consume during meals if they order a side of laughter with their food.

Laugh if you will, but a group of researchers in Japan found that people with type 2 diabetes — the most common form of the disease — had a smaller rise in post-meal blood glucose (sugar) when they watched a comedy show than when they listened to a humorless lecture.

The researchers, led by Dr. Keiko Hayashi from the University of Tsukuba, also found the same results in people without diabetes.

Poorly controlled blood sugar can increase the risk of diabetes complications such as heart disease, kidney failure and blindness.

Hayashi told Reuters Health that people with diabetes have a lot to worry about — diet, exercise and keeping their glucose and insulin levels in check. And stress is known to increase the risk of elevated blood glucose, the researcher noted.

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