I attended a lecture by Leo Buscaglia some years ago.  He advocated
that wives give their husbands a big sloppy kiss when saying goodbye,
and also a minimum of 12 hugs a day.  He said this would lower their
cholesterol and defend them from heart attacks.

     "Well, maybe -", said my skeptical self; "But perhaps I can use
this," replied my rationally manipulative self.  So, "Give me a hug, and
lower my cholesterol.

     It worked occasionally.

     But Buscaglia did claim there was an article in SCIENCE showing
that when rabbits were petted while being fed, their cholesterol level
was reduced.

     I finally located this article (Whew!) in SCIENCE, Vol. 208, 27
June 1980, p.1475; "Social Environment as a Factor in Diet-Induced
Atherosclerosis."  BUT there was no reduction in cholesterol in the
experimental rabbits as compared to the controls!

     However, there was something even better.  The experimental rabbits
which were handled, stroked, talked to and played with; showed a
dramatic 60% decrease of aortic atherosclerosis when compared to the
controls.  This would definitely reduce the chance of a heart attack.

     Perhaps the touch assist when expanded to hugs and kisses has
unexplored frontiers.