We’ve all behaved like lovestruck teenagers at some point in our lives and it turns out, first date butterflies and the inevitable over-analysis of your text exchange is simply part of human nature.
The investigation – which is the first of its kind to uncover the impact of love on our genes – involved taking blood samples from 47 young women, as they embarked upon new relationships over the course of two years.
Researchers analysed genetic changes in those who fell in love and discovered that when Cupid’s arrow struck, women were not only affected psychologically but physically too, through palpitations and obsessive thinking.
The team also found that falling head over heels led women’s genes to produce interferon – a protein which usually fights viruses.
Although the process is not yet fully understood, they believe that it could be in order for women to prepare their bodies for impregnation.
Upon this discovery, the scientists also investigated how the levels of interferon change during the course of a woman’s relationship and discovered that those who eventually fell out of love saw a reduction in the protein.
“Falling in love is one of the most psychologically potent experiences in human life,” the research team concluded. “New romantic love is accompanied not only by psychological changes.”
Now, the research team is intrigued to find out how men are influenced by love and plan to uncover how a male’s genetic response to romance differs to women.
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