The effects of love has been discussed in a multitude of ways through the years in the form of music, cinema, and literature. However, we rarely talk about the physical side effects of falling in love with someone else. Scientists now say that strong feelings of love induce literal chemical reactions in the brain, strengthening the body physically. A new study out of UCLA found that when a woman falls in love, a new protein called interferon is released in her blood, according to iRadio.
When we find ourselves experiencing deep feelings of love, we might notice a newfound sense of energy or purpose. Some might describe this as a type of rush, boosting one’s mood and changing their demeanor. Others might find that their mood becomes dependent on that of the other person, suffering when they suffer and rejoicing in their success. We might consider these emotions as cliche consequences of infatuation, merely momentary emotions that quickly fade away. However, there is actually a much deeper science behind these complex emotions than we might think.
“New romantic love is accompanied not only by psychological changes, but physiological changes as well,” UCLA researchers said. Scientists took samples of the blood of 47 young women who claimed they were newly in love. Surprisingly, they found a common attribute in each one of these enamored women’s blood. Their bodies had recently begun producing interferon, a protein that is often released during sickness to help combat a virus, according to the New York Post. This chemical is part of a protein class known as cytokines, part of the defense mechanism of the body’s immune system. When a pathogen enters the body, these proteins work in unison to help fight off the virus. Because of their powerful healing properties, scientists have even looked into their effect on combating malignant tumors.
These new medical findings bring a whole new meaning to the phrase “bitten by the love bug.” When a woman experiences the intensity of love, it literally causes a shock to her system. These sudden feelings of passion might be foreign to her, causing natural responses that are unlike anything she has experienced before. During this time, her body is physically stronger and better equipped to handle anything thrown her way, even illness.
However, this bodily reaction isn’t something that persists forever. Scientists found that when these feelings of love begin to lessen in intensity, the production of interferon begins to taper off as well.