Stress and Oxytocin: The Mom Factor

Mother’s Day has already come and gone this year, but according to new research, your stress levels may decrease if you keep in touch with your Mom. Seth D. Pollack, PhD, led a team of researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison who looked at the effect that contact with mothers can have on the stress levels of their daughters. Previous studies using animal models showed that oxytocin levels increased when the animals had direct physical contact with their mothers. Oxytocin is the “feel good” chemical released in the brain that can counter the stress hormone cortisol. In this current study…

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Stress and Cancer

We know that stress is unhealthy, but does it have any impact on cancer? A new study in The Journal of Clinical Investigation looked at the effect that chronic stress had on ovarian cancer patients. Anil Sood, MD and his colleagues at the University of Texas implanted ovarian cancer cells into mice and then exposed them to stress. The result – their tumors grew more quickly. How? Anoikis is the term used to describe cells that detach from their environment in a type of programmed cell death. This is important because if cancer cells don’t die after they split off,…

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Tired, Stressed, Fat and Depressed: What You Need to Know About Cortisol (New Video)

Most of us know that too much stress is harmful to health – but, do we know why? Cortisol, often called the “stress hormone,” impacts the body in so many ways. Weight gain, fatigue, depression, sex drive, and overall mental function can be adversely affected by high levels of cortisol. Really makes you wonder, why more attention isn’t paid to a hormone that can make a person fat, tired, miserable, AND take away their sex drive. How does this work? Well, cortisol can affect metabolic function in a detrimental way. This chemical response to stress tells the body not just…

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