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People who admire Renaissance paintings ‘see stress hormone levels drop by 60 per cent’

  • Experts studied 100 people during a visit to Italy’s Basilica of Vicoforte
  • The famous artwork had a beneficial effect on 90 per cent of participants
  • Saliva tests showed that cortisol levels had reduced by more than half

From Modigliani to Hockney, art has long been admired for its contribution to culture.

But researchers are now claiming that a creative’s craft can also be beneficial to our physical and mental health.

Experts recently studied 100 people during a visit to the monumental Basilica¬†of Vicoforte in northern Italy’s Cuneo – with surprising results.

Prior to entering the 18th century church, participants had their saliva tested for presence of the stress hormone cortisol.

The volunteers – men and women of different ages and with varying IQ levels – climbed 200 ft to the apex of the building as part of their two-hour experience.

The ascent included more than two-hundred steps, no less.

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