A study carried out by the University of Michigan found that caregivers tended to have increased life expectancy. What is interesting about this study is that the results have been interpreted as indicating that the physiological benefits associated with caregiving bring are responsible for the increase and that those physiological benefits are caused by an increase in oxytocin.
Brown believes that the decreased risk of death comes from physiological benefits from caregiving instead of psychological ones. The authors suggest that stress regulation may play a role in this benefit. Helping others is associated with a release of oxytocin, a hormone that may help buffer the effects of stress, Brown explained.