Telling the truth may enhance your health, according to a new study that revealed that telling fewer lies significantly improved people's mental and physical health and even prevented sore throats and headaches.

Researchers presenting the "Science of Honesty" study at the American Psychological Association found that people who told fewer white lies significantly improved their overall health in just 10 weeks.

Psychologists at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana asked 110 participants between the ages of 18 and 71 to take a lie detector test and complete a health and relationship assessment that measures the number of major and minor lies they told each week for 10 weeks.

Researchers said that half of the participants were told to stop telling both major and minor lies for the duration of the 10-week study and the other half, the control group, received no special instructions about lying.

“We found that the participants could purposefully and dramatically reduce their everyday lies, and that in turn was associated with significantly improved health,” lead author Professor Anita Kelly said in a statement.

Americans on average tell about 11 lies a week, and the study found that when participants in the no-lie group told three fewer white lies than they did in other weeks, they experienced, on average, about four fewer mental-health complaints like feeling anxious or down, and about three fewer physical complaints like sore throats and headaches.

When control group members told three fewer white lies, they felt only two fewer mental-health complaints and about one less physical complaint. However, researchers said that the pattern between both groups was similar for major lies.

Researchers found that participants in the more truthful group told significantly fewer lies across the 10-week study compared to the control group, and saw themselves as more honest by the fifth week.

However, on any given week, participants in both groups who lied less reported that their physical health and mental health was significantly better.

“Statistical analyses showed that this improvement in relationships significantly accounted for the improvement in health that was associated with less lying,” co-author Lijuan Wang, an expert in statistics, said in a statement.

Participants in the no-lie group said that they stopped lying by simply telling the truth rather than exaggerating about their daily accomplishments, stopped making excuses for being late or failing to complete tasks and learned to avoid lying by responding to a troubling question with another question to distract the person.