Singles beware. Not only does marriage reportedly reduce the risk of heart attacks, as Finnish scientists noted earlier this year, but kissing is also great for your health.

According to our partners in the US, a simple embrace increases levels of the "love hormone" called oxytocin, which has been linked to social bonding, and the BBC has previously reported that a brief hug can have a calming effect, particularly on women.

PICTURES: Scroll down to see 2012's best and worst celebrity kisses

This year, an American study also found that 'baby boomers' with long-term partners were less likely to die prematurely, than their single counterparts.

Individuals who never married were more than twice as likely to die early than those who had been in a long-term, stable relationships, concluded researchers from Duke University Medical Center.

The survey analysed results taken from more than 4,800 people born during the 1940s, and found that being single or without a consistent partner during middle age increased the likelihood of early mortality, irrespective of socioeconomic factors.

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  • Kissing Is Good For Your Teeth

    There's a reason a kiss is called a "wet one" -- smooching stimulates saliva production, which can actually <a href="" target="_hplink">wash harmful bacteria off the teeth</a>, Mathew Messina, D.D.S., told WebMD and <a href="" target="_hplink">reduce plaque buildup</a>, according to <em>Flickr photo by <a href="" target="_hplink">midiman</a></em>

  • Kissing Burns Calories

    Okay, so we're not talking the equivalent of a trip to the gym, but hey, every little bit counts, right? Locking lips can burn anywhere from <a href="" target="_hplink">two</a> to <a href="" target="_hplink">six calories a minute</a>, according to You're also putting a whole slew of <a href="" target="_hplink">facial muscles</a> to work when you pucker up, and just a few minutes of extra attention to those muscles can make a big difference when it comes to the appearance of frown lines or less-than-perky cheeks, according to the <em>Daily Mail</em>. <em>Flickr photo by <a href="" target="_hplink">{N}Duran</a></em>

  • Kissing Boosts Immunity

    There's no denying the fact that when you lock lips, there are bound to be some germs, uh, exchanged. One specific bug can be particularly hazardous to pregnant women, but researchers believe <a href="" target="_hplink">kissing is a way to introduce the virus to a woman in small doses</a> before she conceives, triggering her body to build up a resistance to it before she could ever pass it on to a child, according to Popular Science. However, if your partner in crime is visibly ill, it's still a good idea to hold off on that kiss, as it's still an <a href="" target="_hplink">easy way to catch mono</a>, strep throat and herpes, among other things. <em>Flickr photo by <a href="" target="_hplink">lejoe</a></em>

  • Kissing Eases Stress

    That feeling of relaxation post-kiss isn't all in your head. A small 2009 study measured levels of the bonding hormone oxytocin and <a href="" target="_hplink">the stress hormone cortisol in pairs of kissing college students</a>, the AP reported. Both men and women experienced a decline in cortisol, a sign of relaxation, that was much greater than when they just held hands. <em>Flickr photo by <a href="" target="_hplink">pedrosimoes7</a></em>

  • Kissing Could Ease Allergy Symptoms

    If those sniffles are due to seasonal allergies and not something contagious, it may be a good idea to go through with the smooch, after all. A small Japanese study found that couples who kissed for 30 minutes had <a href="" target="_hplink">lower levels of allergen-specific IgE</a>, the <a href="" target="_hplink">proteins that trigger pesky sypmtoms</a> like sneezing and sniffling. <em>Flickr photo by <a href="" target="_hplink">davitydave</a></em>

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