Health Advice



The rewards of a giving spirit

By Michael Roizen, M.D. on

When Mark Twain said, "It is better to give than receive -- especially advice," he was being clever, for sure. But he overlooked the especially powerful benefit that giving bestows. Good health.

Researchers from Ohio State University have discovered that people who are emotionally giving and believe they have even more to give have lower bodywide inflammation than folks who aren't generous. And chronic inflammation is an instigator of everything from achy joints to heart disease, cancers, diabetes, depression, gut woes and more.

The study used data on more than 1,000 middle-age adults. The info on their social connections, plus how much they were available to support their family and friends, was compared to their blood levels of interleukin-6, a marker for inflammation. And bingo! People who had positive social relationships and believed they could give even more support in those relationships had lower IL-6.

If you feel tapped out -- without more to give -- you can develop a giving spirit by adopting these four techniques.

-- Practice daily stress reduction techniques including exercise and meditation.

-- Take 10 minutes in the morning and 10 in the afternoon to sit, observe those around you (wherever you are) and think about your friends and family.

-- If someone does something nice for you -- as small as opening or holding a door, for example -- pay it forward as soon as you can.


-- Write out a list of acts of kindness and giving that you can do for friends and family. Start small. Try to do one today. More tomorrow.


Health pioneer Michael Roizen, M.D., is chief wellness officer emeritus at the Cleveland Clinic and author of four No. 1 New York Times bestsellers. His next book is "The Great Age Reboot: Cracking the Longevity Code for a Younger Tomorrow." Email your health and wellness questions to Dr. Mike at

(c)2021 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.

Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

(c) 2021 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.



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