‘Cells called natural killer cells... they're virus busting cells, they go up in your circulation when you listen to music’
Professor O'Neill who became one of the recognisable faces that helped calm the population with this straight talking advice during the lockdown is now offering us more reassuring news.
He says that listening to your favourite sounds can create these antibodies can fight viruses and bacteria.
Studies also show that related activity, such as being in a choir, can stave off mental decline.
He told The Pat Kenny Show: "There's a study showing if you listen to music, an antibody called IGA goes up in your body.
"And these antibodies can fight viruses and bacteria.
"IGA lines your nose, it's in your upper airwaves - and there's really good evidence that enjoying music boosts IGA levels.
"Cells called natural killer cells... they're virus busting cells, they go up in your circulation when you listen to music.
"So music is a very beneficial thing for immunity as well.”
He explained that being in a choir can have specific benefits.
"There's loads of studies on being in a choir [which show it] is hugely beneficial.
"It's a social thing remember... you're concentrating on the music, you're not worrying about paying your mortgage or whatever it might be.
"That's very good for your mental health as well. And really nice as well is it staves off decline, in a way.
"There's good studies showing it'll stave off Alzheimer's even if you're in a choir.
"You're flexing your brain muscle, if you will".
But he said why humans like music is a mystery.
"There must be some evolutionary reason: one could well be your immune boost that you get from listening to music.
"The second big one, no doubt, is social bonding - we're a social species.
"And when we go to a thing like Electric Picnic, massive social bonding is happening.
"And that's good for us as a species".