Often when we hear the word stress we think about things like a hectic day at work or an argument with a loved one, but there are actually many different types of stress. Stress is how your brain reacts to a specific stimulus or situation, and that reaction can trigger changes in your body—which can be good or bad. Below are two new studies that seek to better understand how stress impacts our overall health.
Eating Triggers Stress Hormone in Overweight & Obese Men
Even the simple act of eating puts a certain amount stress on the body, but having a few extra pounds may actually increase that amount. Researchers in Australia recently found that men with more body fat have a higher stress response after eating, which may translate to long-term health risks.
For the purpose of the study 36 men over 50 were asked to eat an average lunch consisting of 22% protein, 53% carbs, and 25% fat, after which researchers measured their levels of the stress hormone cortisol. When compared with their leaner counterparts, men who were even moderately overweight or obese had higher cortisol levels, which study author Dr. Anne Turner said may significantly impact their health over time.
“If overweight or obese men’s bodies react this way after every meal, they may be at increased risk of developing stress-related chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome in the long term,” said Dr. Turner.
Stress and Anxiety May Impact Liver Health
Think you liver is safe from stress? Think again. Researchers from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland found that frequent stress and anxiety can increase the risk of liver disease and may lead to a shorter lifespan. The association between increased stress and liver health was seen even when factors such as diet, weight, and alcohol and tobacco use were taken into account. While Dr. Tom Russ and his team agree further study is needed to explore the relationship, he speculated there may be an underlying link such as inflammation.