Lowering our IL-6 levels with…art, music, and nature

Today I came across some rather curious results (I’m trying not to say “interesting results” all the time… ? ) of a UC Berkeley study, which I just had to share with you: being exposed to art, music, and nature apparently gives a boost to the immune system. And, more interestingly for us, activities such as admiring Botticelli’s “Primavera” (or “Allegory of Spring”), see photo, or listening to Mozart or taking a walk in nature appear to lower the serum levels of interleukin-6, or IL-6 for short. A brief reminder: IL-6 is an important growth factor for myeloma cells, about which I’ve written heaps of posts, so I won’t go over it again (if you’ve never heard of it, just do a search of my blog for IL-6).

Here’s the Telegraph article discussing the findings of this study: http://goo.gl/Vw5Yzu

Primavera_03What I’d like to see next would be a study testing these three activities on a bunch of myeloma patients at various stages. Now wouldn’t THAT be amazingly interesting? :-) In the meantime, while I’m waiting for that study to take place (hah!), I’ll go for a walk in the park while listening to Mozart on my iPod, on my way to the Uffizi Gallery to check out Botticelli’s beautiful paintings (I love Botticelli!).
Oh, and while I’m walking, I’ll have to remember to strike some yoga poses, too (yoga reduces IL-6 levels, too…see the post I wrote on January 15, 2010). And…

Well, okay, I’m getting a bit too silly. ? But hey, we have absolutely NOTHING to lose here. There can be no toxic side effects to listening to music or admiring a work of art. The effects can only be positive. So why not give it a try?

Now, where’s my iPod?